Patients with OI/EDS form a distinct subset of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) patients. In addition to skeletal fragility, they have characteristics of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). We identified 7 children with types III or IV OI, plus severe large and small joint laxity and early progressive scoliosis. In each child with OI/EDS, we identified a mutation in the first 90 residues of the helical region of alpha1(I) collagen. These mutations prevent or delay removal of the procollagen N-propeptide by purified N-proteinase (ADAMTS-2) in vitro and in pericellular assays. The mutant pN-collagen which results is efficiently incorporated into matrix by cultured fibroblasts and osteoblasts and is prominently present in newly incorporated and immaturely cross-linked collagen. Dermal collagen fibrils have significantly reduced cross-sectional diameters, corroborating incorporation of pN-collagen into fibrils in vivo. Differential scanning calorimetry revealed that these mutant collagens are less stable than the corresponding procollagens, which is not seen with other type I collagen helical mutations. These mutations disrupt a distinct folding region of high thermal stability in the first 90 residues at the amino end of type I collagen and alter the secondary structure of the adjacent N-proteinase cleavage site. Thus, these OI/EDS collagen mutations are directly responsible for the bone fragility of OI and indirectly responsible for EDS symptoms, by interference with N-propeptide removal.