Synthesis of an altered type III procollagen in a patient with type IV Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. A structural change in the alpha 1(III) chain which makes the protein more susceptible to proteinases. Academic Article uri icon


  • The synthesis of type III procollagen was examined in cultured fibroblasts from ten patients with type IV Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a heritable disorder of connective tissue. With fibroblasts from nine patients, a decreased amount of labeled type III procollagen was recovered in the medium after the cells were incubated with radioactive amino acids for 24 h. The results were compatible with undefined defects in type III procollagen. The culture medium from one patient contained apparently normal amounts of type III procollagen after a 24-h labeling. However, the pro-alpha 1(III) chains from the medium of the patient's fibroblasts appeared as an abnormally broad band when examined by gel electrophoresis in sodium dodecyl sulfate. Analysis of fragments generated by vertebrate collagenase and cyanogen bromide located a structural defect between amino acid residues 555 and 775 in half of the alpha 1(III) chains. Most of the patient's type III procollagen was susceptible to digestion by pepsin or a mixture of chymotrypsin and trypsin at temperatures at which normal type III procollagen resisted digestion. Cyanogen bromide digestion of samples of the patient's skin revealed that the amount of type III was reduced more than 4-fold. The results support the hypothesis that both normal and structurally altered pro-alpha 1(III) chains are being incorporated into type III procollagen synthesized by the patient's fibroblasts and that type III procollagen molecules containing one, two, or three structurally altered pro-alpha 1(III) chains are rapidly degraded by proteinases in the tissues.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Stolle, C. A., Pyeritz, R. E., Myers, J. C., & Prockop, D. J

citation count

  • 100

complete list of authors

  • Stolle, CA||Pyeritz, RE||Myers, JC||Prockop, DJ

publication date

  • February 1985