AskDefine | Define elastin

Dictionary Definition

elastin n : a fibrous scleroprotein found in elastic tissues such as the walls of arteries

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A protein, similar to collagen, found in connective tissue that has elastic properties.


protein with elastic properties, similar to collagen

Extensive Definition

Elastin is a protein in connective tissue that is elastic and allows many tissues in the body to resume their shape after stretching or contracting. Elastin helps skin to return to its original position when it is poked or pinched. Elastin is also an important load-bearing tissue in the bodies of mammals and used in places where mechanical energy is required to be stored.


It is primarily composed of the amino acids glycine, valine, alanine, and proline.
A specialized protein with the weight of 64,000-66,000, it has an irregular or random coil conformation made up of 830 amino acids.
Elastin is made by linking many soluble tropoelastin protein molecules, in a reaction catalyzed by lysyl oxidase, to make a massive insoluble, durable cross-linked array. The amino acid responsible for these cross-links is lysine.
Desmosine and isodesmosine are both found in elastin.

Locations in body

Elastin serves an important function in arteries and is particularly abundant in large elastic blood vessels such as the aorta. Elastin is also very important in the lungs, elastic ligaments, the skin, the bladder, elastic cartilage, and the intervertebral disc above the sacroiliac. It is present in all vertebrates above the jawless fish .


External links

elastin in German: Elastin
elastin in Spanish: Elastina
elastin in French: Élastine
elastin in Italian: Elastina
elastin in Dutch: Elastine
elastin in Polish: Elastyna
elastin in Portuguese: Elastina
elastin in Serbian: Еластин
elastin in Swedish: Elastin
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