Vitamin C in collagen synthesis

Jan 2014  Vitamin C - Collagen synthesis

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is required for collagen synthesis, a vital protein component of connective tissue.

Collagen is a unique type of protein required by almost all organs of the body and the synthesis of which depends on vitamin C availability.
It is the abundant protein in the human body, makes up to 30% of its protein content. In the skin 75% of the dermis is made up of it. Vitamin C plays an important role as cofactor in its formation. There is synthesis of 29 of its types identified so far in the body. Out of these four are main types making up 90% of the body connective tissue.

Type 1: This is for the formation of skin, organs, bone matrix, ligaments, tendons and blood vessels.
Type 2: This is for the formation of cartilage.
Type 3: This is for the formation of the reticular fibres.
Type 4: This is for the formation of Cell basement membrane.
Type 5: this is for the formation of Cell surfaces, placenta and hair.
Vitamin C deficiency affects the assembly, secretion, or other biological processes involved in the production of this vital protein.

Vitamin C in Collagen synthesis

Collagen has unique amino acid composition depending upon the type of tissue formed. Amino acid Glycine (Gly) is found at almost every third place and amino acids Proline (Pro) and its derivative Hydroxyproline makes up about 10% of this protein. Proline and hydroxyproline play key role in the stability of this protein by helping the twist of helix.

In the higher organisms like humans, for maintaining the connective tissue, critical and crucial biochemical process is hydroxylation of proline.
Its synthesis for increasing its conformational stability significantly, hydroxylation of the amino acid proline by the enzyme prolyl hydroxylase is required.
Ascorbic acid is a necessary cofactor in this biochemical process.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and enzyme catalysed reactions occurs in the lumen present in the endoplasmic reticulum.
Lack of this ascorbic acid (ascorbate) cofactor results in defects in this hydroxylation and mutations in the enzyme prolyl hydroxylase affecting the protein and its proper formation.
Vitamin C in collagen synthesis process more than serving as catalyst gets destroyed by donating H atom in the critical process of assembling this protein in the tissues.
Current topic:
Collagen synthesis and vitamin C.

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