Evidence for a structural mutation of procollagen type I in a patient with the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type VII. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have found that the collagen from a patient with the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type VII contained a polypeptide chain, pN alpha 2, not present in collagen prepared from normal tissue. Fibroblasts cultured from the patient's skin produced type I procollagen in which the NH2-terminal propeptide of pro alpha 2 was cleaved to about half of normal values by chick procollagen neutral protease which removes the NH2-terminal propeptides from procollagen (N-protease). The NH2-terminal propeptide on the pro alpha 2 chain of the patient's procollagen was also more resistant than procollagen from control fibroblasts to digestion by pepsin or alpha-chymotrypsin. assays for procollagen N-protease indicated that the patient's fibroblsts contained about the same level of enzymic activity as normal fibroblasts. These results suggest that the patient's fibroblasts synthesize both an abnormal pro alpha 2 chain and a normal pro alpha 2 chain. The abnormality probably consists of a structural mutation in or near the site at which procollagen N-protease cleaves the pro alpha 2 chain. The results presented here appear to provide the first example of a mutation in a structural gene for collagen. Since equal amounts of pN alpha 2 and alpha 2 are found in the protein in neutral salt extracts of the patient's tissue, as well as in newly synthesized collagen produced by cultured skin fibroblasts, and since both parents are phenotypically normal and express exclusively normal collagen chains, the patient is likely to be a sporadic heterozygote, arisen by new mutation, with one normal and one abnormal gene coding for pro alpha 2.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Steinmann, B., Tuderman, L., Peltonen, L., Martin, G. R., McKusick, V. A., & Prockop, D. J

citation count

  • 142

complete list of authors

  • Steinmann, B||Tuderman, L||Peltonen, L||Martin, GR||McKusick, VA||Prockop, DJ

publication date

  • September 1980