Collagen type VIII is a short chain, network-forming collagen,thought to play a role in tissue remodeling and repair (Shuttleworth 1997, Weitkamp et al. 1999). There are two alpha chain subtypes, found in a ratio of two alpha-1 to one alpha-2 chains (Mann et al. 1990) in the typical collagen heterotrimer. Studies suggest that type VIII collagen is a major component of the hexagonal lattice seen in Descemet's membrane (Mann et al. 1990). Mutations in both alpha chains have been associated with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), a degenerative disease of the corneal endothelium (Jun et al. 2012).
Collagen type VIII can be degraded by neutrophil elastase (ELANE, ELA2; Kittelberger et al. 1992).