To develop a facile method for detecting denatured collagen, we investigated the structure-activity relationship of cyclic collagen-mimetic peptides (cCMPs). Reported cCMP prototypes tend to self-assemble and they must be disassembled just before use. Introducing charge repulsion and a deformation in the peptide backbone structure enabled cCMPs to detect denatured collagen without a pre-treatment for disassembly. Using the optimized cCMP, types I-V collagen were detected by western blotting and denatured collagen fibrils were visualized in a cell culture system.
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