Collagen triple helix, composed of the repeating Gly-Xaa-Yaa (GXY) sequence, is a structural element found in all multicellular animals and also in some prokaryotes. Long GXY polymers are highly regarded components used in food, cosmetic, biomedical, and pharmaceutical industries. In this study, we explore a new concept for the production of recombinant GXY polymers which are based on the sequence of "prokaryotic collagens", the streptococcal collagen-like proteins Scl1 and Scl2. Analysis of 50 Scl variants identified the amino acid distribution and GXY-repeat usage that are involved in the stabilization of the triple helix in Scls. Using circular dichroism spectroscopy and electron microscopy, we show that significantly different recombinant rScl polypeptides form stable, unhydroxylated homotrimeric triple helices that can be produced both intra- and extracellularly in the Escherichia coli. These rScl constructs containing 20 to 129 GXY repeats had mid-point melting temperatures between 32 and 39°C. Altogether, Scl-derived collagens, which are different from the mammalian collagens, can form stable triple helices under physiological conditions and can be used for the production of recombinant GXY polymers with a wide variety of potential applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology