Priming human elastic proteins for assembly into elastic tissues

Authors: Clair Baldock (University of Manchester)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Diamond Annual Review Highlight

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 17773

Abstract: Elastic fibres are the main elastic component of mammalian elastic tissues such as major arteries, the lungs and skin. They provide resilience and recoil, enabling these tissues to expand and contract up to two billion times over a person’s lifetime. The two most abundant components of elastic fibres are tropoelastin and fibrillin. The process by which elastic fibres assemble is not well understood. This information is needed in regenerative medicine, which aims to replace or regenerate cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function. We know that the enzyme transglutaminase-2 covalently links tropoelastin and fibrillin and that this interaction between tropoelastin and fibrillin enhances tropoelastin assembly. However, we do not understand the importance of the linkage between tropoelastin and fibrillin and why this supports elastic fibre assembly. As part of a long-term collaboration, researchers from the University of Manchester, the University of Sydney and the University of Connecticut used the BioSAXS beamline B21 to collect Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) data. They used the data to generate models of tropoelastin and fibrillin, and a tropoelastin-fibrillin complex. These models were used to understand what effect cross-linking had on the dynamics of these proteins. The models suggest that tropoelastin and fibrillin interact in an end-to-end manner and that cross-linking these two proteins together reduces their molecular motions, suggesting a stabilising effect due to this interaction. These findings suggest that the cross-link formation between tropoelastin and fibrillin stabilises the elastin precursor so that it is primed for elastic fibre assembly.

Journal Keywords: Tropoelastin; Elastin; Fibrillin; Tissue transglutaminase; Elastic fibres; Coacervation

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials

Instruments: B21-High Throughput SAXS

Added On: 19/11/2021 14:34

Discipline Tags:

Life Sciences & Biotech Structural biology

Technical Tags:

Scattering Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)