Pepsin-solubilized collagen (PSC) was extracted from giant red sea cucumbers (Parastichopus californicus) and characterized for denaturation temperature (Td), maximum transition temperature (Tm), enzyme-digested peptide maps, and gel-forming capability. SDS-PAGE showed that PSCs from giant red sea cucumber skin and connective tissue were both type I collagens, consisting of three α1 chains of approximately 138 kDa each. The amino acid composition and peptide maps of PSCs digested by V8 protease were different from those of calf skin type I collagen. The Td and Tm are 18.5 and 33.2 °C, respectively, for skin PSC and are 17.9 and 32.7 °C, respectively, for connective tissue PSC. Both skin and connective tissue PSCs exhibited good gel-forming capability at pH 6.5 and at an ionic strength of 300 mM salt (NaCl). Collagen isolated from giant red sea cucumbers might be used as an alternative to mammalian collagen in the food and pharmaceutical
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