Submitted to: Journal of American Leather Chemists Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2007
Publication Date: 7/1/2007
Citation: Mozersky, S.M., Latona, R.J., Marmer, W.N. 2007. Removal of Available Decorin Core-Protein from Powdered Bovine Hide by Treatments used to Process Intact Hides into Leather. Journal of American Leather Chemists Association. 102(7):222-226.
Interpretive Summary: Decorin, a molecule that is part protein and part carbohydrate, is part of the collagen framework of the hide and of leather made from it. We have been investigating the possibility that removal of some decorin from the hide may yield a softer leather. Using a modification of a previously developed procedure to measure decorin core-protein, we determined the available decorin content of a sample of raw powdered bovine hide before and after treatment with the reagents used in the early steps of the process for converting a hide into leather. Treatment of the hide powder with liming reagents resulted in a substantial drop in available decorin content. The results call for parallel experiments on intact pieces of hide to determine if decorin removal is as efficient as it is with the powdered samples. If so, then the softness hypothesis is moot; if removal is retarded, then alterations in tanning protocols to facilitate decorin removal need to be correlated with changes in softness of the ultimate leather. The results will guide the leather industry in producing leather with desirable characteristics and marketability.
Technical Abstract: Using a modification of a previously developed sandwich Elisa procedure to measure decorin core-protein (DCP), we determined the available decorin content of a sample of raw powdered bovine hide before and after treatment with the reagents used in the early steps of the process for converting a hide into leather. (“Available” refers to the availability of the decorin for interaction with the antibodies used in the Elisa procedure). We found approximately 0.16 mg available decorin/g hide in the raw powdered hide. Treatment with liming reagents resulted in a drop of 99.7 +0.3/-0.6 % in available decorin content. The results suggest further investigations on intact hide samples to establish whether decorin removal is restricted by diffusion.