Collagen Structure and Its Modifications at Different Diseases
The collagen superfamily of proteins plays a dominant role in maintaining the integrity of various tissues and also has a number of other important functions. The superfamily includes more than 20 collagen types with altogether. Most collagens form polymeric assemblies. such as fibrils, networks and filaments, and the superfamily can be divided into several families based on these assemblies and structural features. The critical roles of collagens have been clearly illustrated by the wide spectrum of diseases caused by the mutations that occur in genes coding different collagen types. Collagens are also major components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). The abnormal expression, proteolysis and structure of these collagens influence cellular functions to elicit multiple effects on tumors, including proliferation, initiation, invasion, metastasis, and therapy response.
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