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Matrix Biol. 1995 Dec;14(9):705-13.

Coordinate patterns of expression of type I and III collagens during mouse development.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA.


The extracellular proteins types I and III collagen are abundantly expressed during development. Here, the patterns of the pro alpha 1(I), pro alpha 2(I), and pro alpha 1(III) collagen mRNAs are systematically examined from 7.5 to 17.5 days of development (E7.5 to E17.5) in the mouse using in situ hybridization with specific riboprobes. Coordinated expression of pro alpha 1(I) and pro alpha 2(I) collagen mRNA was found throughout development in all regions examined. Widespread type I collagen expression starting at E8.5 occurred in embryonic mesoderm, sclerotomes, dermatomes, and in the forming connective tissues. After E14.5, regions of ossification showed highest levels of type I collagen expression. Pro alpha 1(III) collagen expression was specific to and coordinated with patterns of type I collagen expression in many fibroblast-containing tissues. No expression of type III collagen occurred in osteoblasts. This comprehensive study of the transcripts of abundantly expressed structural proteins should provide a basis for comparison of other key extracellular matrix molecules and serve as a reference for studies on the patterns of activities of various promoter/enhancer-reporter gene constructions of type I and III collagen genes in transgenic mice.

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