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Collagen alpha-5(IV) chain precursor


Tissue- and developmental stage-specific activation of alpha 5 and alpha 6(IV) collagen expression in the upper gastrointestinal tract of transgenic mice.

Little is known about mechanisms regulating gene expression for the alpha chains of basement membrane type IV collagen, arranged head-to-head in transcription units COL4A1-COL4A2, COL4A3-COL4A4, and COL4A5-COL4A6, and implicated broadly in genetic diseases. To investigate these mechanisms, we generated transgenic mouse lines bearing 5'-flanking sequences of COL4A5 and COL4A6, cloned upstream of a lacZ reporter gene. A 3.8-kb fragment upstream of COL4A6 directs reporter gene expression in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, whereas a 13.8-kb fragment directs expression in the esophagus only. A 10.6-kb fragment upstream of COL4A5 directs expression in the esophagus. Coupled with evidence of long-range conservation between human and mouse non-coding sequences, described herein, our findings provide the first indication that highly specialized patterns characteristic of COL4A5-COL4A6 expression in vivo arise from effects of distributed cis-acting regulatory elements on a bidirectional proximal promoter, itself transcriptionally competent.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Collagen Type IV
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Regulator
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Organ Specificity
  • Protein Subunits
  • Sequence Homology
  • Species Specificity
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Upper Gastrointestinal Tract

Role of distinct type IV collagen networks in glomerular development and function.

In X-linked Alport syndrome, mutations in the COL4A5 gene encoding the alpha 5 chain of type IV collagen result in progressive renal failure. This nephropathy appears to relate to the arrest of a switch from an alpha 1/alpha 2 to an alpha 3/alpha 4/alpha 5 network of type IV collagen in the developing glomerular basement membrane (GBM; Kalluri et al, J Clin Invest 99:2470, 1997). We examined the role of this switch in glomerular development and function using a canine model of X-linked nephritis with a COL4A5 mutation. The electron microscopic appearance and the expression of the alpha 1-alpha 6 chains of type IV collagen in the GBM was correlated with glomerular function. In normal neonatal glomeruli, once capillary loops were present, there was staining of GBM for the alpha 1-alpha 5 chains. Prior to this stage, only alpha 1 and alpha 2 chains were present, with rare glomeruli positive for the alpha 5 chain. As glomeruli matured, the alpha 1 and alpha 2 chains tended to disappear from the GBM, with the alpha 3-alpha 5 chains remaining. In affected male dogs, only the alpha 1 and alpha 2 chains were detected at any stage. GBM ultrastructure in these dogs remained normal until one month and proteinuria did not appear until two months. Our results show that normal glomerular development involves a switch in type IV collagen networks. In affected male dogs, a failure of this switch results in an absence of the alpha 3/alpha 4/alpha 5 network and a persistence of the alpha 1/alpha 2 network in GBM. GBM ultrastructure and glomerular function remain normal for one month, indicating that GBM deterioration in Alport syndrome begins as a postnatal process. Hence, only the alpha 1/alpha 2 network is essential for normal glomerular development, whereas the alpha 3/alpha 4/alpha 5 network is essential for long-term maintenance of glomerular structure and function.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Basement Membrane
  • Collagen
  • Dogs
  • Isomerism
  • Kidney Glomerulus
  • Male
  • Nephritis, Hereditary
  • Reference Values