The Reductionist Approach to the Molecular and Supramolecular Structures of Elastin
Elastin is the protein responsible for the elasticity of tissues and organs such as lungs, skin, and arteries. Its insolubility is due to the presence of crosslinks responsible for its resistance to fracture and rupture. Due to the extreme insolubility of elastin in common solvents, the use of classical spectroscopic techniques is precluded. For these reasons, past studies were confined to the use of soluble derivatives, such as α-elastin and κ-elastin, and to short synthetic peptides corresponding to repeating sequences. In some cases, peptides containing polymeric repeats of variable distribution of molecular weight were also studied [1,2].