A type I collagen with substitution of a cysteine for glycine-748 in the alpha 1(I) chain copolymerizes with normal type I collagen and can generate fractallike structures. Academic Article uri icon


  • Type I procollagen was purified from cultured fibroblasts of a proband with a lethal variant of osteogenesis imperfecta. The protein was a mixture of normal procollagen and mutated procollagens containing a substitution of cysteine for glycine in either one pro alpha 1(I) chain or both pro alpha 1(I) chains, some or all of which were disulfide-linked through the cysteine at position alpha 1-748. The procollagen was then examined in a system for generating collagen fibrils de novo by cleavage of the pCcollagen to collagen with procollagen C-proteinase [Kadler et al. (1987) J. Biol. Chem. 262, 15696-15701]. The mutated collagens and normal collagens were found to form copolymers under a variety of experimental conditions. With two preparations of the protein that had a high content of alpha 1(I) chains disulfide-linked through the cysteine alpha 1-748, all the large structures formed had a distinctive, highly branched morphology that met one of the formal criteria for a fractal. Preparations with a lower content of disulfide-linked alpha 1(I) chains formed fibrils that were 4 times the diameter of control fibrils. The formation of copolymers was also demonstrated by the observation that the presence of mutated collagens decreased the rate of incorporation of normal collagen into fibrils. In addition, the solution-phase concentration at equilibrium of mixtures of mutated and normal collagens was 5-10-fold greater than that of normal collagen.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Kadler, K. E., Torre-Blanco, A., Adachi, E., Vogel, B. E., Hojima, Y., & Prockop, D. J.

citation count

  • 50

complete list of authors

  • Kadler, KE||Torre-Blanco, A||Adachi, E||Vogel, BE||Hojima, Y||Prockop, DJ

publication date

  • May 1991