Re: Collegen III
|From:||"J. A. Kiernan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
On Fri, 20 Oct 2000, P. Emry wrote:
> I have a grad student who wants to look at collegen III.
> It is like the blind leading the blind here.
> Any help would be appreciated.
Collagen III exists as fine fibrils and is the principal
component of classical reticulin. It's also present in
basement membranes, but these also contain non-fibrillary
collagen IV. The only way to stain only collagen III is
immunohistochemically, with a well characterized primary
antibody. Traditional connective tissue stains may have
a place in your student's research, as may the many and
wonderful methods of carbohydrate histochemistry,
especially affinity methods using lectins that attach to
terminal alpha-D-glucosyl units. Concanavalin A is an
example of such a lectin. All collagen is PAS-positive,
largely by virtue of the associated glucose.
Whatever you do, don't pass on this email to your graduate
student. Tell her/him to go to the library and find a book
about collagen. There are many, and some are very good. Tell
him/her also to get hold of a Histochemistry textbook. The
biggest and best is Pearse (3 vols) but there are plenty of
others. A graduate student is doing the right thing asking
for help, but it's an important part of the training to
find things out from secondary and primary sources. Histonet
is a tertiary source. A textbook is secondary. The primary
sources, in science, are papers in peer-reviewed journals.
End of sermon on how to advise graduate students.
John A. Kiernan,
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
The University of Western Ontario,
LONDON, Canada N6A 5C1
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