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J Biol Chem. 1988 Nov 15;263(32):17159-66.

Cloning and sequencing of pro-alpha 1 (XI) collagen cDNA demonstrates that type XI belongs to the fibrillar class of collagens and reveals that the expression of the gene is not restricted to cartilagenous tissue.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Morse Institute of Molecular Genetics, State University of New York, Brooklyn 11203.


We have isolated several overlapping cDNA clones encoding alpha 1(XI) collagen chains from human and rat cDNA libraries. Together the human cDNAs code for 335 uninterrupted Gly-X-Y triplets, and a 264-amino acid C-propeptide, while the rat cDNAs cover the entire C-propeptide and about a third of the triple-helical domain. Comparison of the human and rodent nucleotide sequences showed a 95% sequence similarity. The identification of the clones as alpha 1(XI) cDNAs was based on the complete identity between the amino acid sequences of three human alpha 1(XI) cyanogen bromide peptides and the cDNA-derived sequence. Examination of and the cDNA-derived amino acid sequence showed a variety of structural features characteristic of fibrillar-forming collagens. In addition, nucleotide sequence analysis of a selected portion of the corresponding human gene revealed the characteristic 54-base pair exon motif. We conclude therefore that pro-alpha 1 (XI) collagen belongs to the group of fibrillar collagen genes. We also suggest that the expression of this gene is not restricted to cartilage, as previously thought, since the cDNA libraries from which the clones were isolated, originated from both cartilagenous and noncartilaginous tissues.

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