eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2006   Volume No 12 – pages 57-63

Title: Articular cartilage collagen: an irreplaceable framework?

Author: DR Eyre, MA Weis, J-J Wu

Address: University of Washington, Dept. of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Box 356500, Seattle, WA 98195-6500 USA..


E-mail: deyre at


Key Words: cartilage, collagen type III, collagen cross-linking, heterotypic fibrils, osteoarthritis


Publication date: November 2nd 2006

Abstract: Adult articular cartilage by dry weight is two-thirds collagen. The collagen has a unique molecular phenotype. The nascent type II collagen fibril is a heteropolymer, with collagen IX molecules covalently linked to the surface and collagen XI forming the filamentous template of the fibril as a whole. The functions of collagens IX and XI in the heteropolymer are far from clear but, evidently, they are critically important since mutations in COLIX and COLXI genes can result in chondrodysplasia syndromes. Here we review what is known of the collagen assembly and present new evidence that collagen type III becomes covalently added to the polymeric fabric of adult human articular cartilage, perhaps as part of a matrix repair or remodelling process.

Article download: Pages 57-63 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v012a07