Type III collagen (COL3A1): Gene and protein structure, tissue distribution, and associated diseases.
ABSTRACT: Collagen alpha-1(III) chain, also known as the alpha 1 chain of type III collagen, is a protein that in humans is encoded by the COL3A1 gene. Three alpha 1 chains are required to form the type III collagen molecule which has a long triple-helical domain. Type III collagen, an extracellular matrix protein, is synthesized by cells as a pre-procollagen. It is found as a major structural component in hollow organs such as large blood vessels, uterus and bowel. Other functions of type III collagen include interaction with platelets in the blood clotting cascade and it is also an important signaling molecule in wound healing. Mutations in the COL3A1 gene cause the vascular type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS; OMIM 130050). It is the most serious form of EDS, since patients often die suddenly due to a rupture of large arteries. Inactivation of the murine Col3a1 gene leads to a shorter life span in homozygous mutant mice. The mice die prematurely from a rupture of major arteries mimicking the human vEDS phenotype. The biochemical and cellular effects of COL3A1 mutations have been studied extensively. Most of the glycine mutations lead to the synthesis of type III collagen with reduced thermal stability, which is more susceptible for proteinases. Intracellular accumulation of this normally secreted protein is also found. Ultrastructural analyses have demonstrated dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum and changes in the diameter of collagen fibers. Other clinical conditions associated with type III collagen are several types of fibroses in which increased amounts of type III collagen accumulate in the target organs.
Project description:The vascular form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS), a rare disease with grave complications resulting from rupture of major arteries, is caused by mutations of collagen type III [α1 chain of collagen type III (COL3A1)]. The only, recently proven, preventive strategy consists of the reduction of arterial wall stress by β-adrenergic blockers. The heterozygous (HT) Col3a1 knockout mouse has reduced expression of collagen III and recapitulates features of a mild presentation of the disease. The objective of this study was to determine whether changing the balance between synthesis and degradation of collagen by chronic treatment with doxycycline, a nonspecific matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitor, could prevent the development of vascular pathology in HT mice. After 3 months of treatment with doxycycline or placebo, 9-month-old HT or wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to surgical stressing of the aorta. A 3-fold increase in stress-induced aortic lesions found in untreated HT mice 1 week after intervention (cumulative score 4.5 ± 0.87 versus 1.3 ± 0.34 in WT, p < 0.001) was fully prevented in the doxycycline-treated group (1.1 ± 0.56, p < 0.001). Untreated HT mice showed increased MMP-9 activity in the carotid artery and decreased collagen content in the aorta; however, in doxycycline-treated animals there was normalization to the levels observed in WT mice. Doxycycline treatment inhibits the activity of tissue MMP and attenuates the decrease in the collagen content in aortas of mice haploinsufficient for collagen III, as well as prevents the development of stress-induced vessel pathology. The results suggest that doxycycline merits clinical testing as a treatment for vEDS.
Project description:The management of arterial pathology in individuals with vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) remains a challenge. Here we describe the correlation between COL3A1 gene mutation type and the clinical phenotype in individuals with vEDS.Individuals with confirmed molecular diagnoses of vEDS were enrolled in a multi-institutional natural history study. Data collected included demographics, clinical and family histories, arterial pathology (aneurysm, dissection, and rupture), operative details, and autopsy reports. Individuals were classified into two cohorts by the type of COL3A1 mutations and their effect on the amount of normal collagen produced: those with mutations that lead to minimal (MIN) production (10%-15%) of normal type III collagen and those with haploinsufficiency (HI) mutations that lead to production of 50% of the normal type III collagen.A cohort of 68 individuals (72%) from 56 families had arterial pathology (44% male) with 13% HI. The HI group was older at the time of their first vascular event (mean, 42 [range, 26-58] years vs 33 [range, 8-62] years; P = .016) and had a higher incidence of aortic pathology than the MIN group (56% vs 21%; P = .025). Visceral arterial pathology was seen in 43 arteries in 23 individuals in the MIN group vs only one artery in five individuals in the HI group. Emergency surgical procedures were more likely to be undertaken when vEDS diagnosis was not known (81% vs 41%; P = .005), and 81% of these procedures were open surgical repair compared with 19% endovascular repairs (P = .019). Open and endovascular repairs were equally used in the elective setting. Postoperative complications were highest when the diagnosis of vEDS was not known (62% vs 14%; P < .001) and when procedures were undertaken in an emergency setting (5% vs 55% P < .001). Mortality due to arterial complications was 0% in the HI cohort and 21% in the MIN cohort (P = .132).Arterial pathology in vEDS individuals is related to the underlying COL3A1 mutation type. The arterial pathology in individuals with HI mutations occurs at later ages with a higher incidence of aortic disease compared with other COL3A1 mutation types. Molecular diagnosis is recommended because diagnosis confirmation, appropriate surveillance, and prophylactic interventions in an elective setting improve surgical outcomes.
Project description:Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) is an autosomal-dominant connective tissue disorder caused by heterozygous mutations in the COL3A1 gene, which encodes the pro-? 1 chain of collagen III. Loss of structural integrity of the extracellular matrix is believed to drive the signs and symptoms of this condition, including spontaneous arterial dissection and/or rupture, the major cause of mortality. We created 2 mouse models of vEDS that carry heterozygous mutations in Col3a1 that encode glycine substitutions analogous to those found in patients, and we showed that signaling abnormalities in the PLC/IP3/PKC/ERK pathway (phospholipase C/inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate/protein kinase C/extracellular signal-regulated kinase) are major mediators of vascular pathology. Treatment with pharmacologic inhibitors of ERK1/2 or PKC? prevented death due to spontaneous aortic rupture. Additionally, we found that pregnancy- and puberty-associated accentuation of vascular risk, also seen in vEDS patients, was rescued by attenuation of oxytocin and androgen signaling, respectively. Taken together, our results provide evidence that targetable signaling abnormalities contribute to the pathogenesis of vEDS, highlighting unanticipated therapeutic opportunities.
Project description:Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, vascular type (vEDS) (MIM #130050) is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutation in the type III collagen gene, COL3A1, leading to fragility of blood vessels, bowel and uterus that leads to spontaneous rupture. We report a previously undiagnosed vEDS patient with bowel complications. A 20-year-old female patient was referred to our hospital with abdominal pain. Computed tomography showed notable dilatation of the sigmoid colon with intraperitoneal fluid. Laparotomy revealed dilatation of the sigmoid colon, breakdown of serosa and muscularis propria of the sigmoid colon with impending perforation, and intra-abdominal hemorrhage caused by breakdown of the mesenterium. Resection of the sigmoid colon with Hartmann's pouch and an end colostomy were performed. Physical examination showed joint hypermobility, translucent skin with venous prominence and facial structure abnormalities. Genetic analysis using cDNA extracted from the patient's fibroblasts by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction direct sequencing showed a missense mutation within the triple helix region of COL3A1 (c.2150 G>A; Gly717Asp).
Project description:AIMS:The vascular type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS IV) is an autosomal-dominant disorder characterized by thin translucent skin and extensive bruising. Patients with EDS IV have reduced life expectancy (median 45-50 years) due to spontaneous rupture of arteries (particularly large arteries) or bowel. EDS IV results from mutation of the COL3A1 gene, which encodes the pro-?(1) chains of type III collagen that is secreted into the extracellular matrix, e.g. by smooth muscle cells. A mouse model of EDS IV produced by targeted ablation of Col3a1 has been of limited use as only 10% of homozygous animals survive to adulthood, whereas heterozygous animals do not die from arterial rupture. We report a novel, exploitable model of EDS IV in a spontaneously generated mouse line. METHODS AND RESULTS:Mice were identified by predisposition to sudden, unexpected death from dissection of the thoracic aorta. Aortic dissection inheritance was autosomal-dominant, presented at an early age (median, 6 weeks) with incomplete penetrance, and had a similar sex ratio bias as EDS IV (2:1, male:female). Molecular genetic analysis demonstrated that the causal mutation is a spontaneous 185 kb deletion, including the promoter region and exons 1-39, of the Col3a1 gene. As in EDS IV, aortic dissection was not associated with elevated blood pressure, aneurysm formation, or infection, but may result from aberrant collagen fibrillogenesis within the aortic wall. CONCLUSION:This novel, exploitable mouse line that faithfully models the vascular aspects of human EDS IV provides an important new tool for advancing understanding of EDS IV and of aortic dissection in general.
Project description:The vascular type of the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) is caused by dominant-negative mutations in the procollagen type III (COL3A1) gene. Patients with this autosomal dominant disorder have a shortened life expectancy due to complications from ruptured vessels or hollow organs. We tested the effectiveness of allele-specific RNA interference (RNAi) to reduce the mutated phenotype in fibroblasts. Small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) discriminating between wild-type and mutant COL3A1 allele were identified by a luciferase reporter gene assay and in primary fibroblasts from a normal donor and a patient with vEDS. The best discriminative siRNA with the mutation at position 10 resulted in >90% silencing of the mutant allele without affecting the wild-type allele. Transmission and immunogold electron microscopy of extracted extracellular matrices from untreated fibroblasts of the patient with vEDS revealed structurally abnormal fibrils. After siRNA treatment, collagen fibrils became similar to fibrils from fibroblasts of normal and COL3A1 haploinsufficient donors. In addition, it was shown that expression of mutated COL3A1 activates the unfolded protein response and that reduction of the amount of mutated protein by siRNA reduces cellular stress. Taken together, the results provide evidence that allele-specific siRNAs are able to reduce negative effects of mutated COL3A1 proteins. Thus, the application of allele-specific RNAi may be a promising direction for future personalized therapies to reduce the severity of vEDS.
Project description:Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) is a dominantly inherited connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in the COL3A1 gene that encodes type III collagen (COLLIII), which is the major expressed collagen in blood vessels and hollow organs. The majority of disease-causing variants in COL3A1 are glycine substitutions and in-frame splice mutations in the triple helix domain that through a dominant negative effect are associated with the severe clinical spectrum potentially lethal of vEDS, characterized by fragility of soft connective tissues with arterial and organ ruptures. To shed lights into molecular mechanisms underlying vEDS, we performed gene expression profiling in cultured skin fibroblasts from three patients with different structural COL3A1 mutations. Transcriptome analysis revealed significant changes in the expression levels of several genes involved in maintenance of cell redox and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis, COLLs folding and extracellular matrix (ECM) organization, formation of the proteasome complex, and cell cycle regulation. Protein analyses showed that aberrant COLLIII expression is associated with the disassembly of many structural ECM constituents, such as fibrillins, EMILINs, and elastin, as well as with the reduction of the proteoglycans perlecan, decorin, and versican, all playing an important role in the vascular system. Furthermore, the altered distribution of the ER marker protein disulfide isomerase PDI and the strong reduction of the COLLs-modifying enzyme FKBP22 are consistent with the disturbance of ER-related homeostasis and COLLs biosynthesis and post-translational modifications, indicated by microarray analysis. Our findings add new insights into the pathophysiology of this severe vascular disorder, since they provide a picture of the gene expression changes in vEDS skin fibroblasts and highlight that dominant negative mutations in COL3A1 also affect post-translational modifications and deposition into the ECM of several structural proteins crucial to the integrity of soft connective tissues.
Project description:There is no proven therapy or prevention for vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS), a genetic disorder associated with the mutation of procollagen type III and characterized by increased fragility of vascular and hollow organ walls. Heterozygous COL3A1-deficient (HT) mice recapitulate a mild presentation of one of the variants of vEDS: haploinsufficiency for collagen III. Adult HT mice are characterized by increased metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, reduced collagen content in the arterial walls, and spontaneous development of various severity lesions in aorta. We hypothesized that chronic treatment with a MMP inhibitor would increase collagen content and prevent the development of spontaneous aortic lesions. HT mice were treated since weaning with the broad-spectrum MMP inhibitor doxycycline added to food. At the age of 9 months MMP-9 expression was twice as high in the tunica media of aorta in untreated HT mice, whereas total collagen content was 30% lower (p < 0.01) and the cumulative score of aortic lesions was eight times higher than in wild-type (WT) mice (p < 0.01). After 9 months of doxycycline treatment, MMP-9 activity, collagen content, and lesions in the aortas of HT mice were at the level of those of WT mice (p > 0.05). In the mouse model of collagen III haploinsufficiency treatment with broad-spectrum MMP inhibitor that was started early in life normalized increased MMP activity, reduced aortic collagen content in adults, and prevented the development of spontaneous aortic lesions. Our findings provide experimental justification for the clinical evaluation of the benefit of doxycycline at least in the haploinsufficient variety of vEDS.
Project description:AIM:The study aimed to identify the underlying differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and mechanism of macrophage-enriched rupture atherosclerotic plaque using bioinformatics methods. METHODS:GSE41571, which includes six stable samples and five ruptured atherosclerotic samples, was downloaded from the GEO database. After preprocessing, DEGs between ruptured and stable atherosclerotic samples were identified using LIMMA. Gene Ontology biological process (GO_BP) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses of DEGs were performed using the Database for Annotation, Visualization, and Integration Discovery (DAVID) online tool. Based on the STRING database, protein-protein interactions (PPIs) network among DEGs were constructed. Regulatory relationships between miRNAs/transcriptional factors (TFs) and target genes were predicted using Enrichr, and regulatory networks were visualized using Cytoscape. RESULTS:A total of 268 DEGs (64 up-regulated and 204 down-regulated DEGs) were identified between ruptured and stable samples. In the PPI network, collagen type III alpha 1 chain (COL3A1), collagen type I alpha 2 chain (COL1A2), and asporin (ASPN) were more than 15 interaction degrees. In the miRNA-target network, miR21 was highlighted with highest degrees and ASPN could be targeted by miR21. Functional enrichment analysis showed that COL3A1 and COL1A2 were significantly enriched in extracellular matrix organization and cell adhesion GO_BP terms. Pre-platelet basic protein (PPBP) was the most significantly up-regulated gene in ruptured atherosclerotic samples and enriched in immune response and inflammatory response GO_BP terms. CONCLUSIONS:Down-regulated COL3A1, COL1A2 and ASPN, and up-regulated PPBP might perform critical promotional roles in atherosclerotic plaque rupture. Furthermore, miR21 might be potential target to prevent atherosclerotic rupture.
Project description:Collagens carry out critical extracellular matrix (ECM) functions by interacting with numerous cell receptors and ECM components. Single glycine substitutions in collagen III, which predominates in vascular walls, result in vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS), leading to arterial, uterine, and intestinal rupture and an average life expectancy of <50 years. Collagen interactions with integrin ?2?1 are vital for platelet adhesion and activation; however, how these interactions are impacted by vEDS-associated mutations and by specific amino acid substitutions is unclear. Here, we designed collagen-mimetic peptides (CMPs) with previously reported Gly ? Xaa (Xaa = Ala, Arg, or Val) vEDS substitutions within a high-affinity integrin ?2?1-binding motif, GROGER. We used these peptides to investigate, at atomic-level resolution, how these amino acid substitutions affect the collagen III-integrin ?2?1 interaction. Using a multitiered approach combining biological adhesion assays, CD, NMR, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we found that these substitutions differentially impede human mesenchymal stem cell spreading and integrin ?2-inserted (?2I) domain binding to the CMPs and were associated with triple-helix destabilization. Although an Ala substitution locally destabilized hydrogen bonding and enhanced mobility, it did not significantly reduce the CMP-integrin interactions. MD simulations suggested that bulkier Gly ? Xaa substitutions differentially disrupt the CMP-?2I interaction. The Gly ? Arg substitution destabilized CMP-?2I side-chain interactions, and the Gly ? Val change broke the essential Mg2+ coordination. The relationship between the loss of functional binding and the type of vEDS substitution provides a foundation for developing potential therapies for managing collagen disorders.