The hydroxylation of lysine and glycosylations of hydroxylysine were studied in isolated chick-embryo tendon and cartilage cells under conditions in which collagen triple-helix formation was either inhibited or accelerated. The former situation was obtained by incubating the tendon cells with 0.6mm-dithiothreitol, thus decreasing their proline hydroxylase activity by about 99%. After labelling with [14C]proline, the formation of hydroxy[14C]proline was found to have declined by about 95%. Since the hydroxylation of a relatively large number of proline residues is required for triple-helix formation at 37°C, the pro-α-chains synthesized under these conditions apparently cannot form triple-helical molecules. Labelling experiments with [14C]lysine indicated that the degree of hydroxylation of the lysine residues in the collagen synthesized was slightly increased and the degree of the glycosylations of the hydroxylysine residues more than doubled, the largest increase being in the content of glucosylgalactosylhydroxylysine. Recovery of chick-embryo cartilage cells from temporary anoxia was used to obtain accelerated triple-helix formation. A marked decrease was found in the extent of hydroxylation of the lysine residues in the collagen synthesized under these conditions, and an even larger decrease occurred in the glycosylations of the hydroxylysine residues. The results support the previous suggestion that the triple-helix formation of the pro-α-chains prevents further hydroxylation of lysine residues and glycosylations of hydroxylysine residues during collagen biosynthesis.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.