Collagen X is thought to form extended hexagonal networks (Kwan et al. 1991, Jacenko et al. 2001). It's distribution is limited to regions of hypertrophic cartilage destined for degradation during endochondral ossification (Schmid & Conrad 1982). It is also found in areas of surface fibrillation and osteophyte formation during the development of osteoarthritic lesions in articular cartilage (von der Mark et al. 1992). In Timp3 knockout mice type X collagen was observed mostly in areas of articular cartilage that stained strongly for collagen cleavage products, suggesting that deposition of type X collagen might be a damage repair mechanism (Sahebjam et al. 2007). Mutations in the gene COL10A1 are associated with Schmid/Japanese type metaphyseal chondrodysplasia (SMCD) (Warman et al. 1993, Ho et al. 2007, Woelfle et al. 2011).
Type X collagen is degraded by MMP1 (Schmid et al. 1986, Welgus et al. 1990, Cole et al. 1993), MMP2 (Cole et al. 1993, Welgus et al. 1990), MMP3 (Wu et al. 1991), MMP13 (Knauper et al. 1997) and neutrophil elastase (Kittelberger et al. 1992).