Collagen Query

Reinhard Doelz doelz at comp.bioz.unibas.ch
Fri Oct 21 01:00:09 EST 1994

Matthew R. Cooperberg (Matthew.R.Cooperberg at dartmouth.edu) wrote:
: Correct me if any of these assumptions are incorrect:
: Lathyrism is caused by overconsumption of sweet peas, whose
: beta-aminopropionitrile >reduces< intramolecular cross-linking to a
: debilitating extent.
: Would consumption of sweat peas (or treatment w/
: beta-aminoproprionitrile) in any way slow or reverse the deterioration
: of skin elasticity?

Basically, this is true. However, beta-aminoproprionitrile affects the 
generation of allysine in general, which is the primary precursor of 
collagen crosslinks in both juvenile (azomethine, two-membered) and 
adult (three and possibly four side changes involving) crosslink compounds.
Therefore, the reason for decreasing skin elasticity, i.e. the 'maturation'
from juvenile to adult crosslinks, is targeted with such a chemical.However,
a certain amount of crosslinking is required for the mechanical stability
of tissue. Experiments ('60s or '70s) in vivo with chemically induced 
Lathyrism showed that the life of the animals was drastically reduced 
because of breaking aortas and similar important devices. 


maybe worth reading:
Bailey,A.J., Robins, S.P., Balian, G. Nature 251, 105 (1974). 
Waite, J.H., Tanzer, M.L. CRC Handbook of Chemistry in aging, 1981, 195f. 
Doelz,R. and Heidemann, E. Int. J. Peptide Protein Res. 32, 307 (1988). 
Doelz, R. and Heidemann, E. Conn. Tissue Research 18, 255 (1989). 

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