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Hydroxyproline

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Hydroxyproline

specific proline residues on the amino side of a glycine residue in collagen become hydroxylated at C4, before the polypeptides become helical, by the activity of prolyl hydroxylase. This enzyme has a ferrous ion at the active site and a reducing agent such as ascorbate is necessary to maintain the iron in the ferrous state. The presence of hydroxyproline is essential to produce stable triple helical tropocollagen, hence the problems caused by ascorbate deficiency in scurvy. This unusual amino acid is also present in considerable amounts in the major glycoprotein of primary plant cell walls (see HRGP).