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Matrix Biol. 1999 Jun;18(3):261-74.

Complete exon-intron organization and chromosomal location of the gene for mouse type XIII collagen (col13a1) and comparison with its human homologue.

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  • 1Biocenter and Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Oulu, Finland.


Recent findings indicate that type XIII collagen is a transmembrane protein with a short N-terminal sytocsolic domain, a single transmembrane domain and a large, mainly collagenous ectodomain. The complete exon-intron structure of the gene coding for the mouse alpha1(XIII) collagen chain, col13a1, has now been characterized from genomic clones spanning over 180 kilobases (kb) and shown to be approximately 135 kb in size and to contain 42 exons varying between 8 base pairs (bp), the shortest exon in the genes encoding the various collagens, and 836 bp. Nuclease S1 mapping and 5'RACE resulted in identification of multiple transcription initiation points in the mouse gene, ranging between 470 and 548 bp upstream from the initiation methionine. This is in good agreement with a recently identified human EST clone extending 537 bp upstream from the initiation methionine. The 836-bp first exon of the mouse gene covers both the long 5' untranslated region and also a 36-residue cytosolic portion, a 23-residue transmembrane domain, and 37 residues of the 60-residue non-collagenous ectodomain immediately adjacent to the plasma membrane. One striking feature of the exons encoding solely collagenous sequences is the abundance of 27-bp exons, half the ancestral 54-bp size characteristic of fibrillar collagen genes, while the others vary between 8 and 144 bp, including instances of 36-, 45- and 54-bp exons. Determination of approximately 2.6 kb of sequences upstream of the initiation methionine of both the mouse and human genes and the identification of a clone containing four exons and spanning a gap in the previously characterized human clones allowed detailed comparison of the two genes. The exon-intron structures were found to be completely conserved between the species, and both genes have their 5' untranslated region preceded by a highly homologous apparent promoter region of approximately 350 bp containing a modified TATAA motif and several GC boxes. The chromosomal location of the mouse gene was determined by SSCP and fluorescence in situ hybridization and found to be at chromosome 10, band 4, between markers D1OMit5 -2.3 +/- 1.6 cM -col13a1 - 3.4+/-1.9 cM - D1OMit15. This result indicates that the mouse type XIII collagen gene and its human counterpart are located in chromosomal segments with conserved syntenies (The GenBank accession numbers for the mouse gene are AF063666-AF063693. The new GenBank accession number for the 5' end of the human type XIII collagen gene is AF071009).

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