Types of collagen

Types of collagen

How many types of collagen are there? In which tissues is each type most commonly found?

The collagens are the most abundant body proteins accounting for 20% to 30% of the total body mass. There are at least 29 different types of collagen; however, 90% collagen in the human body is type I. The most common ones are listed in the below table and can be divided into seven subclasses. The unique properties and organization of each collagen type enable that specific collagen to contribute to the function of the tissue of which it is the principal structural component. Abnormalities of collagen types can cause diseases.

Collagen Types, Tissue Distribution, and Diseases Caused by Mutations

ClassesTissue DistributionDisease
Fibril-forming (interstitial) collagens
Type IBone, tendon, skin, joint capsule/synoviumOI, ED
Type IIHyaline cartilage, disk, vitreous humorCD, Stickler’s
Type IIIBlood vessels, skin, lungED (vascular), Dupuytren’s
Type VSame as type IED (classical)
Type XISame as type IISED, Stickler’s
Network-forming and short chain collagens
Type IV aBasement membraneAlport syndrome
Type VIIIEndothelium, Descemet’s membraneCorneal dystrophy
Type XGrowth plate cartilageMD
FACIT (fibril-associated collagens with interrupted triple helices)
Type IXSame as type II, corneaMED
Type XIISame as type I
Type XIVSame as type I
Type XVISeveral tissues with types I/II
Type XIXRhabdomyosarcoma cells
Type XXIBlood vessels
Beaded filament-forming collagen
Type VIMost connective tissuesRare muscle diseases
Collagen of anchoring fibrils
Type VIIDermoepidermal, cornea, oral mucosaEpidermolysis bullosa dystrophica
MACIT (membrane-associated collagens with interrupted triple helices)
Type XIIIEndomysium, placenta, meninges
Type XVII aSkin, hemidesmosomes, cornea
Multiplexin (Multiple triple helix domains with interruptions)
Type XVMany tissues, especially muscle
Type XVIIIMany tissues
Source of endostatin
Knobloch syndrome

CD, Chondrodysplasia; ED, Ehlers–Danlos syndrome; MD, metaphyseal dysplasia; MED, multiple epiphyseal dysplasia; OI, osteogenesis imperfecta; SED, spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia.

a Goodpasture syndrome results from an autoimmune response against collagen type IV; bullous pemphigoid results from an autoimmune response against collagen type XVII.


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