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Oriented Cellulose as a Component of Mammalian Tissue

D. A. Hall, F. Happey, P. F. Lloyd and Hedwig Saxl
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Vol. 151, No. 945 (Mar. 1, 1960), pp. 497-516
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/75330
Page Count: 24
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Oriented Cellulose as a Component of Mammalian Tissue
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Abstract

A cellulose-protein complex is reported as a normal although minor constituent of mammalian connective tissue; higher concentrations have been observed in certain pathological human skin conditions. Experiments on the degradation of collagen by treatment with alkaline buffers have afforded histochemical evidence for the production of highly anisotropic fibres. Chemical and physical studies show that these fibres consist of a protein-polysaccharide complex, the polysaccharide fraction of which is indistinguishable from native cellulose, arranged in helical form round a protein template. The question of fibrogenesis is discussed in the light of synthetic studies whereby anisotropic fibres having similar properties to those of native mammalian cellulose fibres can be obtained by the interaction of gelatin, chondroitin sulphate and calcium ions.

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