Today, I invite you to take a closer look at another component of the extacellular matrix (ECM) – Elastin.
Visual representation of skin changes over a lifetime.
Elastin is a highly elastic protein in connective tissue and enables tissues in the body to resume their shape after contracting or stretching. Elastin helps skin to return to its original position when it is pinched or poked. During aging, elastin appearance decreases. The ELN gene encodes a protein which is rich in hydrophobic amino acids like glycine and proline, which form mobile hydrophobic regions bounded by crosslinks between lysine residues. A number of transcript variants encoding different isoforms are know for this gene. Together with the elastic microfibril (consisting of proteins such as microfibrillar-associated glycoproteins, fibrillin, fibullin, and the elastin receptor) elastin forms so called elastic fibers in the ECM of connective tissues.