New research finds collagen to be tissue remodeling regulator

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New research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), based in Bethesda, Maryland, shows that collagen is more active in the human body than originally thought and has an affect on the way enzymes are broken down.

In the study, published online July 12 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Keir Neuman, PhD, lead author on the study and a senior investigator in the Laboratory of Single Molecule Biophysics at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), found that the protein, which is the most abundant in humans, forms structures that regulate how certain enzymes break down and remodel body tissue. Collagen performs an important role in a variety of biological processes ranging from wound healing to cancer growth.

The findings shed light on collagen’s potential affect on heart disease, cancer, arthritis and other diseases and how it can be used for regulating tissue remodeling.