Tendon hypertrophy is associated with increased hydroxylation of nonhelical lysine residues at two specific cross-linking sites in type I collagen

Joan E. Gerriets, Sandra L. Curwin, Jerold A Last

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22 Scopus citations


This study was designed to investigate whether the changes in lysine hydroxylation known to occur in hypertrophic tendon occur randomly or at specific lysine residues in the type I collagen molecule. Peptides corresponding to the two known major cross-linking sites of type I collagen (a lysine (or hydroxylysine) at position 9N cross-linked to a hydroxylysine at 930 and a lysine (or hydroxylysine) at position 16C cross-linked to a hydroxylysine at position 87) were prepared by collagenase digestion, size fractionation, and separation by high performance liquid chromatography from normal chicken tendon and from chicken tendon subjected to increased tensile load as a result of muscle hypertrophy. The ratio of the difunctional cross-links dihydroxylysinonorleucine to hydroxylysinonorleucine in normal tendon is 0.75:1; this ratio is increased to 6:1 in hypertrophic tendon. The dihydroxylysinonorleucine to hydroxylysinonorleucine ratio is increased to the same extent in samples of the purified cross-linked peptides derived from both the N-terminal and C-terminal lysine aldehyde residues. On the other hand, the relative hydroxylysine content of preparations of the pooled larger helical peptides obtained by cyanogen bromide digestion of normal and hypertrophic tendons was essentially identical. These results demonstrate that there is a specific increase in hydroxylation of only the N- and C-terminal non-helical lysine residues that participate in the formation of the reducible difunctional cross-links of type I collagen in hypertrophic tendon, while the extent of hydroxylation of lysine residues in the helical regions is not affected. The specific mechanism by which the enzyme lysyl hydroxylase acting on its substrate can distinguish between lysine residues destined to be in non-helical versus helical regions in a nascent collagenous peptide that has not yet attained its final secondary structure remains to be defined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25553-25560
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - Dec 5 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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