Desmosine-enriched peptides were isolated from a thermolysin digest of bovine ligamentum nuchae elastin and a partial sequence was determined. A 'two-cross-link' model is proposed in which a second cross-link, perhaps lysinonorleucine, joins two peptide chains approx. 35 amino acid residues removed from the desmosine. Implied in this model is a certain asymmetry or directionality which places restrictions on the 'sense' of the peptide chains (either always parallel or anti-parallel) in order to align the cross-linking sites. Imposing such restrictions raises the possibility of specific alignment of elastin precursor molecules by microfibrillar proteins and/or aligning peptides on the precursor molecules themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-625
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1978


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