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Sheep antibodies to soluble rat collagen: Isolation of cross-linked peptides by affinity chromatography

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Abstract

Sheep were immunized by multiple injections of acid-extracted rat tail tendon tropocollagen. Antibody activity could be demonstrated by quantitative precipitation and passive haemagglutination against denatured tropocollagen. Immunodiffusion experiments showed strong precipitin lines with denatured tendon tropocollagen, and with peptides obtained by CNBr digestion of whole rat tail tendon. Immunoelectrophoresis showed one line with denatured tropocollagen but four lines with the CNBr digest of whole tendon indicating at least four antigenic determinants. Immunosorbents prepared from antisera raised against tropocollagen readily absorbed labelled peptides from CNBr digests of rat tail tendons reduced with tritiated borohydride. These peptides were recoverable by desorption with 1 M ammonia and had a hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine content typical of collagen but increased tyrosine levels. Presence of the normal reducible components of collagen known to be involved in cross-linking was confirmed by ion-exchange chromatography, and there was an increase in the proportion of fraction C. The majority of the tritium label was found in a cross-linked peptide, or group of peptides, with molecular weight around 60,000. The technique therefore has the potential for further development in the isolation of specific collagen peptides.

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