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J Biol Chem. 1992 Mar 25;267(9):6361-9.

A base substitution at the splice acceptor site of intron 5 of the COL1A2 gene activates a cryptic splice site within exon 6 and generates abnormal type I procollagen in a patient with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type VII.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


The dermal type I collagen of a patient with Ehlers-Danlos type VIIB (EDS-VIIB) contained normal alpha 2(I) chains and mutant pN-alpha 2(I)' chains in which the amino-terminal propeptide (N-propeptide) remained attached to the alpha 2(I) chain. Similar alpha 2(I) chains were produced by cultured dermal fibroblasts. Amino acid sequencing of tryptic peptides, prepared from the mutant amino-terminal pN-alpha 2(I) CB1' peptide, indicated that five amino acids, including the N-proteinase (the specific proteinase that cleaves the procollagen N-propeptide) cleavage site, had been deleted from the junction of the N-propeptide and the N-telopeptide (the nonhelical domain at the amino-terminus of the alpha chains of fully processed type I polypeptide chains) of the mutant pro-alpha 2(I)' chain. The corresponding 15 nucleotides, which were deleted from approximately half of the alpha 2(I) cDNA polymerase chain reaction products, of the alpha 2(I) cDNA polymerase chain reaction products, were encoded by the +1 to +15 nucleotides of exon 6 of the normal alpha 2(I) gene (COL1A2). These 15 nucleotides were deleted in the splicing of alpha 2(I) pre-mRNA to mRNA as a result of inactivation of the 3' splice site of intron 5 by an AG to AC mutation and the activation of a cryptic AG splice acceptor site corresponding to positions +14 and +15 of exon 6. Loss of the N-proteinase cleavage site explained the persistence of the pN-alpha 2(I)' chains in the dermis and in fibroblast cultures. Collagen production by cultured dermal fibroblasts was doubled, possibly due to reduced feedback inhibition by the N-propeptides. In contrast to previously reported cases of EDS-VIIB, Lys5 of the N-telopeptide was not deleted and appeared to take part in the formation of intramolecular cross-linkages. However, increased collagen solubility and abnormal extraction profiles of the mutant type I collagen molecules indicated that collagen cross-linking was abnormal in the dermis. The proband and her son were heterozygous for the mutation. It is likely that the heterozygous loss of the N-proteinase cleavage site, with persistence of a shortened N-propeptide, was the major factor responsible for the EDS-VIIB phenotype.

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