The Structure of Collagen


Title:
The Structure of Collagen
Creator:
Rich, Alexander
Crick, Francis, 1916-2004
Date:
12 November 1955
Description:
During the 1950s Crick made crucial contributions not only to the study of DNA and the genetic code, but to X-ray structure analysis of important biological molecules. He was instrumental in extending helical diffraction theory to construct three-dimensional maps of protein molecules from X-ray data. In particular, he calculated the complicated X-ray diffraction pattern produced by a helix that was itself wound around a second axis into a larger super helix, or coiled coil. In this paper, Crick and Alexander Rich, a visiting physical chemist in the Cavendish laboratory who had studied the structure of RNA with James Watson at the California Institute of Technology, applied helical diffraction theory to deduce the three-chain, coiled coil structure of collagen, a family of extracellular proteins that are a major component of connective tissue and make up one-third of all proteins in the human body. The discovery of the three-dimensional structure of a protein was an important event in molecular biology during the 1950s.
Periodical:
Nature
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of the Nature Publishing Group. and http://www.nature.com/nature/
Genre:
Articles
Format:
Text
Extent:
2 pages
Language:
English
Legacy Source Citation:
Periodical. Rich, Alexander, and Francis Crick. "The Structure of Collagen." Nature 176, 4489 (12 November 1955): 915-916. Article. 2 Images.. Nature
Legacy ID:
SCBBZL
NLM ID:
101584582X393
Profiles Collection:
The Francis Crick Papers
Story Section:
Defining the Genetic Coding Problem, 1954-1957