Role of length-dependent stability of collagen-like peptides.
Understanding the structure, folding, and stability of collagen is complex because of its length and variations in the amino acid (AA) sequence composition. It is well known that the basic constituent of the collagen helix is the triplet repeating sequence of the form Gly-X(AA)-Y(AA). On the basis of previous models and with the frequency of occurrence of the triplets, the ((Gly-Pro-Hyp)n)3 (where n is the number of triplets) sequence replicate has been chosen as the model for the most stable form of the collagen-like sequence. With a view to understand the role of sequence length (or the number of triplets) on the stability of collagen, molecular dynamics simulations have been carried out by varying the number of triplet units on the model collagen-like peptides. The results reveal that five triplets are required to form the stable triple helix. Further analysis shows that the intermolecular structural rigidity of the imino acid residues, hydrogen bonding, and water structure around the three chains of the triple helix play the dominant roles on its structure, folding, and stabilization.
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