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Am J Pathol. 1997 Jun;150(6):2075-86.

Location of type XV collagen in human tissues and its accumulation in the interstitial matrix of the fibrotic kidney.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Oulu, Finland.


An antipeptide antibody was produced against the carboxyl-terminal noncollagenous domain of human type XV collagen and used to localize this recently described collagen in a number of human tissues. The most conspicuous findings were powerful staining of most of the capillaries and staining of the basement membrane (BM) zones of muscle cells. Not all of the BM zones were positive, however, as shown by the lack of staining in the developing fetal alveoli and some of the tubules in developing kidney. Nor was type XV collagen staining restricted to the BM zones, as some could be observed in the fibrillar collagen matrix of the papillary dermis and placental villi, for example. Interestingly, differences in the expression of type XV collagen could be observed during kidney development, and staining of fetal lung tissue suggested that changes in its expression may also occur during the formation of vascular structures. Another intriguing finding was pronounced renal interstitial type XV collagen staining in patients with kidney fibrosis due to different pathological processes. This suggests that the accumulation of type XV collagen may accompany fibrotic processes. Full-length human type XV collagen chains with an apparent molecular mass of approximately 200 kd were produced in insect cells using a baculovirus expression system. The fact that these had a markedly higher molecular mass than the 100- to 110-kd type XV collagen chains found in homogenates of heart and kidney tissue suggests either proteolytic processing during the synthesis of type XV collagen or an inability to solubilize complete molecules from tissues.

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