Collagen vs. Elastin
Location in Body
Disease Due to Deficiency
Collagen and Elastin Definitions
Collagen vs. Elastin
Collagen gives the strength to the structures while elastin gives the elasticity to the structures in the body. Collagen is the third most important protein among all proteins in the body whereas elastin is less important than collagen. Collagen produce in the body throughout life on the other side elastin produced only in the fetus and did not produce after puberty. Collagen is affected by autoimmune disorders, sunlight, high sugar consumption, and smoking whereas elastin is affected by sunlight, dehydration, changes in weight, lack of sleep, smoking and stress. Collagen is white color protein whereas elastin is yellow in color. In mammals’ body, collagen is found in bones, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues whereas elastin is found in elastin connective tissues, skin and blood vessels.
What is Collagen?
A collagen is a group of proteins that are usually found in our bodies. They are found in the fibrous as well as connective tissues. It the most abundant protein in our body, about 30% of the protein in our body comprised of this protein. Collagen mainly comprises of glycine, amino acids, and proline. It also consists of arginine and hydroxyproline. Fibroblasts present in the connective tissue secrete collagen as procollagen. Copper, Vitamin A, and vitamin C are needed for the manufacture of collagen in fibroblasts. A collagen molecule is made of three protein chains which are wrapped around each other and formed a helix. A vast collagen aggregate is called a tropocollagen, which is formed by the aggregation of collagen fibrils. Collagen fibrils are cross-linked together to achieve a considerable tensile strength. Around 15 types of collagen are found. There are different types of collagen-like Type I collagen is the most abundant type. The kind I collagen found in skin, cornea, tendon, and bone. The basal lamina of the skin is made of type V and VI collagens. The type VI collagen anchors to the basal lamina of the skin to the underlying connective tissue. Collagen is also found in ligaments, tendon, and bones. It is located in blood vessels, smooth muscles, digestive tract, gallbladder, and kidney.
- The important function of collagen is to provide strength and flexibility to the structures of the body.
- Collagen also plays a role in protecting the body from pathogens, toxins, and cancerous cells.
What is Elastin?
Elastin protein is also present in connective tissues, but it is a different type of protein than collagen because it has the actual property of elastic. It gives an elastic property to the structures when they are stretched. The production of elastin takes place in the early developmental stages and childhood. The vital protein component of the blood vessels is elastin. Therefore, in the loss of elastin protein in the blood vessels may cause atherosclerosis. The loss of elastin in the lungs causes emphysema. The half-life of elastin is about 70 years. The loss of elastin protein in the skin decreases the flexibility of the skin, and it may reduce wound healing ability. Fibroblasts also produce tropoelastin, that becomes elastin in the extracellular matrix. Human elastin is also capable of penetrating the skin and incorporating to the extracellular matrix. Ligaments also comprised of elastin. In patients with collagen diseases and connective tissue diseases, both collagen and elastin are affected by inflammatory processes. Elastin is affected by sunlight, dehydration, changes in weight, lack of sleep, smoking and stress. Deficiencies in elastin may cause different diseases like Marfan’s syndrome, atherosclerosis, and emphysema.
- It helps in skin elasticity.
- It makes the structure elastic.