COMP acts as a catalyst in collagen fibrillogenesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have previously reported that COMP (cartilage oligomeric matrix protein) is prominent in cartilage but is also present in tendon and binds to collagens I and II with high affinity. Here we show that COMP influences the fibril formation of these collagens. Fibril formation in the presence of pentameric COMP was much faster, and the amount of collagen in fibrillar form was markedly increased. Monomeric COMP, lacking the N-terminal coiled-coil linker domain, decelerated fibrillogenesis. The data show that stimulation of collagen fibrillogenesis depends on the pentameric nature of COMP and not only on collagen binding. COMP interacts primarily with free collagen I and II molecules, bringing several molecules to close proximity, apparently promoting further assembly. These assemblies further join in discrete steps to a narrow distribution of completed fibril diameters of 149 +/- 16 nm with a banding pattern of 67 nm. COMP is not found associated with the mature fibril and dissociates from the collagen molecules or their early assemblies. However, a few COMP molecules are found bound to more loosely associated molecules at the tip/end of the growing fibril. Thus, COMP appears to catalyze the fibril formation by promoting early association of collagen molecules leading to increased rate of fibrillogenesis and more distinct organization of the fibrils.


  • Krisztina Halasz
  • Anja Kassner
  • Matthias Mörgelin
  • Dick Heinegård
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Clinical Medicine
  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31166-31173
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division III (013230700), Connective Tissue Biology (013230151), Department of Experimental Medical Science (013210000), Division of Infection Medicine (BMC) (013024020)