Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18442704
Link to DOI – 10.1016/j.ymeth.2008.01.005
Methods 2008 May; 45(1): 42-52
Elastic fibres are macromolecular extracellular matrix assemblies that endow dynamic connective tissues such as arteries, lungs and skin with the property of elastic recoil. Here, we describe how we have purified elastic fibre molecules and then analysed them using a range of biochemical and biomolecular approaches. Such approaches have provided powerful insights into the complex hierarchical processes of extracellular matrix assembly. We outline molecular interaction and kinetics assays using Biacore, biophysical approaches such as multi-angle laser light scattering and analytical ultracentrifugation which provide information on molecular and macromolecular shape and mass in solution, the visualisation of molecules and assemblies using microscopy approaches such as atomic force microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy, and compositional analysis of macromolecular complexes using mass spectrometry. Data from these in vitro analytical approaches can be combined to develop powerful new models of elastic fibre assembly.