The folding of a collagen triple helix usually requires the presence of additional sequences that contribute to the association and correct alignment of the collagen chains. We recently reported that the C-terminal neck and lectin domains of a collagenous C-type lectin, rat pulmonary surfactant protein D (SP-D), are sufficient to drive the trimerization of a heterologous type IIA procollagen amino propeptide sequence. However, the conformation of the resulting trimeric IIA propeptide and the specific contributions of the SP-D sequence to trimerization were not elucidated. In the present study, we show that trimerization of the fusion protein is associated with correct folding of the collagen helix within the IIA propeptide domain (as assessed by circular dichroism) and that the constituent chains are hydroxylated. Chemical cross-linking and analytical ultracentrifugation showed that the IIA amino-propeptide retains its trimeric configuration even after proteolytic removal of the SP-D domains. By contrast, IIA amino-propeptides synthesized without fusion to the neck or lectin domains are assembled exclusively as monomers. To localize the trimerization sequence, mutant chimeric cDNA constructs were designed containing premature termination codons within the coiled-coil neck domain. A short, 14-amino acid sequence corresponding to the first two heptad repeats of the neck domain was sufficient to drive the trimeric association of the IIA amino-propeptide α-chains. However, deletion of the collagen domain resulted in the secretion of monomers. These studies demonstrate that two heptad repeats are sufficient for trimeric association of the propeptide but indicate that cooperative interactions between the coiled-coil and collagen domains are required for the formation of a stable helix.