The Collagens of the Annelida

  • Louann W. Murray
  • Marvin L. Tanzer
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 93)


Organisms in the three major classes of annelids, the Polychaetes (marine sandworms), the Oligochaetes (earthworms), and the Hirudinea (leeches), contain at least three types of collagenous structures. These structures are (1) handed collagen fibers that are morphologically identical to those observed in vertebrate and many invertebrate species, (2) basal laminae which are common to all metazoan organisms, and (3) non-banded cuticle fibers which are found in the annelids and nematodes. The cuticle collagens are the longest protein molecules known, with documented lengths of up to 2,400 nm for the native molecules which form large unhanded fibers and are not crosslinked. This chapter will review the morphological and biochemical studies of the collagens of these three classes of annelids and will relate these collagens to vertebrate collagen types where appropriate.


Sedimentation Velocity Epithelial Cell Layer Flow Birefringence Basement Membrane Collagen Metazoan Organism 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louann W. Murray
    • 1
  • Marvin L. Tanzer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsHarbor-UCLA Medical CenterTorranceUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA

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