Macrofibril Formation

  • Duane P. HarlandEmail author
  • A. John McKinnon
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1054)


Macrofibrils are the main structural component of the hair cortex, and are a composite material in which trichokeratin intermediate filaments (IFs) are arranged as organised arrays embedded in a matrix composed of keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) and keratin head groups. Various architecture of macrofibrils is possible, with many having a central core around which IFs are helically arranged, an organisation most accurately described as a double-twist arrangement. In this chapter we describe the architecture of macrofibrils and then cover their formation, with most of the material focusing on the theory that the initial stages of macrofibril formation are as liquid crystals.


Hair follicle Trichokeratin Keratin intermediate filament Intermediate filament polymerization Macrofibril Supramolecular assembly Mesophase 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AgResearch Ltd.LincolnNew Zealand
  2. 2.Institute of Fundamental SciencesMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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