Muscle Extracellular Matrix

Role in Growth, Development, and Meat Tenderness
  • R. J. McCormick
  • A. L. Phillips


Muscle extracellular matrix (ECM) is composed primarily of collagen, with lesser amounts of other constituents including proteoglycans. This review summarizes the role of the major muscle collagens, types I and III, and the small, leucine-rich proteoglycan decorin in development of a mature, skeletal muscle matrix and subsequent meat characteristics. A stabilized ECM is essential for functional muscle; the stabilizing force is provided predominantly by the covalent, lysine-derived crosslinks of collagen. Information regarding the chemical structure and specific location of crosslinks is available; however, steps which control and regulate crosslink formation are less well understood. Recent studies suggest a potential role for deco-rin in regulating fibrillogenesis of collagen, ordering the spatial arrangement of collagen molecules and fibrils and influencing crosslinking patterns. Finally, the extent to which altered muscle collagen development may affect muscle growth and postmortem muscle characteristics will be discussed


Collagen Molecule Fibrillar Collagen Lysyl Oxidase Collagen Concentration Longissimus Dorsi 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. McCormick
    • 1
  • A. L. Phillips
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

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