Characterization of the Biophysical Properties and Cell Adhesion Interactions of Marine Invertebrate Collagen from Rhizostoma pulmo

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Collagen is the most ubiquitous biomacromolecule found in the animal kingdom and is commonly used as a biomaterial in regenerative medicine therapies and biomedical research. The collagens used in these applications are typically derived from mammalian sources which poses sociological issues due to widespread religious constraints, rising ethical concern over animal rights and the continuous risk of zoonotic disease transmission. These issues have led to increasing research into alternative collagen sources, of which marine collagens, in particular from jellyfish, have emerged as a promising resource. This study provides a characterization of the biophysical properties and cell adhesion interactions of collagen derived from the jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo (JCol). Circular dichroism spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy were used to observe the triple-helical conformation and fibrillar morphology of JCol. Heparin-affinity chromatography was also used to demonstrate the ability of JCol to bind to immobilized heparin. Cell adhesion assays using integrin blocking antibodies and HT-1080 human fibrosarcoma cells revealed that adhesion to JCol is primarily performed via β1 integrins, with the exception of α2β1 integrin. It was also shown that heparan sulfate binding plays a much greater role in fibroblast and mesenchymal stromal cell adhesion to JCol than for type I mammalian collagen (rat tail collagen). Overall, this study highlights the similarities and differences between collagens from mammalian and jellyfish origins, which should be considered when utilizing alternative collagen sources for biomedical research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number59
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jan 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jan 2023


  • marine collagen
  • jellyfish collagen
  • Rhizostoma pulmo
  • collagen fibrillogenesis
  • cell adhesion
  • heparan sulfate


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