Treatment of bovine corneal stroma using SDS-containing extracting solutions removes a 135,000 MW glycoprotein from the main collagen framework of the tissue. Low-angle synchrotron X-ray diffraction patterns obtained from corneas extracted in this way indicate that the glycoprotein has been removed from the gap regions of the collagen fibrils and is thus an important structural component of the corneal stroma. The glycoprotein (GP 135) shares a number of properties with one of the subunits of type VI collagen, but tests have so far failed to establish their identity.

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