Skip to Content


Pronunciation: kol'la-jen

Definition: The major protein (comprising over half of that in mammals) of the white fibers of connective tissue, cartilage, and bone; insoluble in water but can be altered to easily digestible, soluble gelatins by boiling in water, dilute acids, or alkalis. It is high in glycyl, l-alanyl, l-prolyl, and l-4-hydroxyprolyl residues, but is low in sulfur and has no l-tryptophanyl residues. It comprises a family of genetically distinct molecules all of which have a unique triple helix configuration of three polypeptide subunits known as a-chains; at least 18 types of collagen have been identified, each with a different polypeptide chain.

Synonym(s): ossein, osseine, ostein, osteine

[G. koila, glue, + -gen, producing]

See Also: collagen fiber

Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.