Collagen type II, alpha 1 protein: A bioactive component of shark cartilage

Liza Merly, Sylvia L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that extracts of shark cartilage induce a cytokine response in human leukocytes, but the nature of the bioactive component(s) is unknown. Extracts treated with proteases lost 80% of their cytokine-inducing property, suggesting that the active component(s) was likely a complex protein. The aim of the present study was to determine the nature of the bioactive molecule(s). Solid phase extraction followed by ion exchange chromatography and electrophoretic separation were used to partially purify a bioactive preparation from commercial shark cartilage that has been identified as a small glycoprotein. LC-MS analysis yielded peptides with 100% molecular identity with collagen type II, alpha I protein from the lesser spotted catshark, Scyliorhinus canicula. The implications for the consumption of shark cartilage as a dietary supplement are discussed given the presence of collagen type II, alpha 1 protein in extracts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-315
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Immunopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Collagen
  • Dietary supplement
  • Glycoprotein
  • Immunomodulation
  • Shark cartilage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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