Accelerated proteolysis of tropoelastin and elastin occurs in the major arteries of chicks fed copper-deficient diets. Signs of elastin degradation are not obvious in normal arteries of copper-supplemented chicks. It is proposed that the sources of proteases that effect elastin degradation are from plasma and serum. Both calcium-dependent proteases and kallikrein were effective in degrading tropoelastin and partially crosslinked insoluble elastin into peptides similar to those detected in aortic extracts from copper-deficient chicks. As dietary copper deficiency progresses it is also possible to detect elastin peptides in plasma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology