In the most general sense, collagen fibrillogenesis is the formation of filamentous structures by the ordered assembly of collagen molecules. The term cannot be used to describe the assembly of all types of collagen, however, because not all form structures recognizable as fibrils. Unlike the molecules of types I, II, III, and V which exhibit the usual continuous (Gly-X-Y)n repeat in their amino acid sequences, types IV and VI and the other “minor” collagens possess interruptions at various positions along their α-chain sequences. These collagens do not form fibrils, but do self-assemble in specific ways to form complex arrays or networks most suitable for their biological function.
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