Collagen (I) homotrimer potentiates the osteogenesis imperfecta (oim) mutant allele and reduces survival in male mice

Lee, Katie, Rambault, Lisa, Bou-Gharios, George, Clegg, Peter, Akhtar, Riaz ORCID: 0000-0002-7963-6874, Czanner, Gabriela ORCID: 0000-0002-1157-2093, van ‘t Hof, Rob ORCID: 0000-0002-8193-6788 and Canty-Laird, Elizabeth
(2020) Collagen (I) homotrimer potentiates the osteogenesis imperfecta (oim) mutant allele and reduces survival in male mice. 2020.07.13.198283-.

Access the full-text of this item by clicking on the Open Access link.


Type I collagen is the major structural component of bone where it exists as an (α1) 2 (α2) 1 heterotrimer in all vertebrates. The osteogenesis imperfecta (oim) mouse model comprising solely homotrimeric (α1) 3 type I collagen, due to a dysfunctional α2 chain, has a brittle bone phenotype implying that the heterotrimeric form is required for physiological bone function. However, humans with rare null alleles preventing synthesis of the α2 chain have connective tissue and cardiovascular abnormalities (cardiac valvular Ehlers Danlos Syndrome), without evident bone fragility. Conversely a prevalent human single nucleotide polymorphism leading to increased homotrimer synthesis is associated with osteoporosis. Whilst the oim line is well-studied, whether homotrimeric type I collagen is functionally equivalent to the heterotrimeric form in bone has not been demonstrated. Col1a2 null and oim mouse lines were used in this study and bones analysed by microCT and 3-point bending. RNA was also extracted from heterozygote tissues and allelic discrimination analyses performed using qRT-PCR. Here we comprehensively show for the first time that mice lacking the α2(I) chain do not have impaired bone biomechanical or structural properties, unlike oim homozygous mice. However Mendelian inheritance was affected in male mice of both lines and male mice null for the α2 chain exhibited age-related loss of condition. The brittle bone phenotype of oim homozygotes could result from detrimental effects of the oim mutant allele, however, the phenotype of oim heterozygotes is known to be less severe. We used allelic discrimination to show that the oim mutant allele is not downregulated in heterozygotes. We then tested whether gene dosage was responsible for the less severe phenotype of oim heterozygotes by generating compound heterozygotes. Data showed that compound heterozygotes had impaired bone structural properties as compared to oim heterozygotes, albeit to a lesser extent than oim homozygotes. Hence, we concluded that the presence of heterotrimeric collagen-1 in oim heterozygotes alleviates the effect of the oim mutant allele but a genetic interaction between homotrimeric collagen-1 and the oim mutant allele leads to bone fragility.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 31 Biological Sciences, 32 Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, 3103 Ecology, Genetics, Pediatric, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Congenital Structural Anomalies, Rare Diseases, Women's Health, 1.1 Normal biological development and functioning, 2.1 Biological and endogenous factors, 2 Aetiology, 1 Underpinning research, Musculoskeletal
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2020 07:56
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 21:43
DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.13.198283
Open Access URL:
Related URLs: