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J Biol Chem. 1991 Nov 25;266(33):22370-4.

A 9-base pair deletion in COL1A1 in a lethal variant of osteogenesis imperfecta.

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Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, United Kingdom.


A proband with lethal osteogenesis imperfecta has been investigated for the causative defect at the levels of collagen protein, mRNA, and DNA. Analysis of type I collagen synthesized by the proband's fibroblasts showed excessive post-translational modification of alpha 1(I) chains along the entire length of the helix. Oververmodification of alpha chains could be prevented by incubation of the cells at 30 rather than 37 degrees C, and the thermal stability of the triple helix, as determined by protease digestion, was normal. RNase A cleavage of RNA:RNA hybrids formed between the proband's mRNA and antisense RNA derived from normal pro-alpha 1(I) chain cDNA clones was used to locate an abnormality to exon 43 of the proband's pro-alpha 1(I) collagen gene (COL1A1). The nucleotide sequence of the corresponding gene region showed, in one allele, the deletion of 9 base pairs, not present in either parent, within a repeating sequence of exon 43. The mutation causes the loss of one of three consecutive Gly-Ala-Pro triplets at positions 868-876, but does not otherwise disrupt the Gly-X-Y sequence. Procollagen processing in fibroblast cultures and susceptibility of the mutant collagen I to cleavage with vertebrate collagenase were normal, indicating that the slippage of collagen chains by one Gly-X-Y triplet does not abolish amino-propeptidase and collagenase cleavage sites. How the mutation produces the lethal osteogenesis imperfecta phenotype is not entirely clear; the data suggest that the interaction of alpha chains immediately prior to helix formation may be affected.

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