Mutations that alter the primary structure of type I procollagen have long-range effects on its cleavage by procollagen N-proteinase. Academic Article uri icon


  • Type I/II procollagen N-proteinase was partially purified from chick embryos and used to examine the rate of cleavage of a series of purified type I procollagens synthesized by fibroblasts from probands with heritable disorders of connective tissue. The rate of cleavage was normal with procollagen from a proband with osteogenesis imperfecta that was overmodified by posttranslational enzymes. Therefore, posttranslational overmodification of the protein does not in itself alter the rate of cleavage under the conditions of the assay employed. Cleavage of the procollagen, however, was altered in several procollagens with known mutations in primary structure. Two of the procollagens had in-frame deletions of 18 amino acids encoded by exons 11 and 33 of the pro alpha 2(I) gene. In both procollagens, both the pro alpha 1(I) and the pro alpha 2(I) chains were totally resistant to cleavage. With a procollagen in which glycine-907 of the alpha 2(I) chain domain was substituted with aspartate, both pro alpha chains were cleaved but at a markedly decreased rate. The results, therefore, establish that mutations that alter the primary structure of the pro alpha chains of procollagen at sites far removed from the N-proteinase cleavage site can make the protein resistant to cleavage by the enzyme. The long-range effects of in-frame deletions or other changes in amino acid sequence are probably explained by their disruption of the hairpin structure that is formed by each of the three pro alpha chains in the region containing the cleavage site and that is essential for cleavage of the procollagen molecule by N-proteinase.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Dombrowski, K. E., Vogel, B. E., & Prockop, D. J.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Dombrowski, KE||Vogel, BE||Prockop, DJ

publication date

  • August 1989