Collagen in the egg shell membranes of the hen

Developmental Biology
M WongR Stern


Collagen-like proteins have been found in the egg shell membranes of the hen. Materials similar to types I and V collagens were detected in each of the two layers of this membrane, the thick outer membrane and the thin inner membrane. Collagen was extracted by acid-pepsin digestion and isolated by differential salt precipitation. Identification of type-specific collagen-like material was established by coelectrophoresis on SDS-polyacrylamide gels using known collagen standards. These bands were susceptible to digestion by bacterial collagenase. From differential staining of the gels it was estimated that the ratio of collagen types I:V was approximately 100:1. Further confirmation of these biochemical results was obtained with immunofluorescence microscopy using type-specific antisera against chicken types I and V collagen with the indirect sandwich technique. Both the inner and outer shell membranes contained the two types of collagen. Within each membrane, the large, coarse 2.5-micron fibers contained predominantly type I collagen-like material, while type V collagen was mainly associated with the delicate narrower fibers of approximately 0.6-micron diameter. These tended to be concentrated in the inner membrane. At the elect...Continue Reading


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