Use of a proteomics approach to identify favourable conditions for production of good quality lambskin leather

Choudhury, S. Deb; Allsop, T.; Passman, A.; Norris, G. E.
January 2006
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Jan2006, Vol. 384 Issue 3, p723
Academic Journal
It is necessary to understand the changes that occur during the initial processing of lamb skins, because these will affect the final quality of the leather. The types of collagen, their macro and micro structures, the presence of proteins other than collagens, and the quantity and the type of proteoglycans, all have a profound effect on the quality of leather. Proteins isolated from untreated or raw sheep skin and from pickled skin (skins treated with sodium sulfide and lime followed by bating with enzymes, then preserved in sodium chloride and sulfuric acid) were significantly different when analysed by use of 2D gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Agarose gel electrophoresis with a very sensitive sequential staining procedure has been used to identify the glycosaminoglycans present in raw and treated skin and their impact on quality of leather. Results showed that effective removal of proteoglycans acting as inter-fibrillar adhesives of collagen fibrils seemed to improve leather quality. Removal of these molecules not only opens up the fibre structure of the skin but may also be important in wool removal. The presence of elastin, which imparts elastic properties to skin, is of significant importance to tanners. The amino acids desmosine and isodesmosine, found exclusively in elastin, were quantitatively analysed to assess the role of elastin in leather quality.


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