The alpha 2(VIII) collagen gene. A novel member of the short chain collagen family located on the human chromosome 1

J Biol Chem. 1991 Apr 25;266(12):7721-7.


Type VIII collagen is a major component of Descemet's membrane, the specialized basement membrane of corneal endothelial cells. Sequence analysis of a cDNA isolated from a library made with mRNA from rabbit corneal endothelial cells has indicated that type VIII molecules contain a polypeptide chain, alpha 1(VIII), consisting of a short triple-helical domain of 454 amino acid residues flanked by non-triple-helical domains of 117 and 173 amino acid residues at the amino and carboxyl ends, respectively (Yamaguchi, N., Benya, P. D., van der Rest, M., and Ninomiya, Y. (1989) J. Biol. Chem. 264, 16022-16029). The sequence of alpha 1(VIII) is strikingly similar to that of alpha 1(X) collagen, a product of hypertrophic chondrocytes. Also, characterization of the alpha 1(VIII) and alpha 1(X) collagen genes has shown that they are quite similar in their exon organization. It has been concluded, therefore, that they are homologous members of a distinct subclass of collagen genes (Yamaguchi, N., Mayne, R., and Ninomiya, Y. (1991) J. Biol. Chem. 266, 4508-4513). We have given this subclass the name short chain collagens because of the relatively small size of the triple-helical domain. In the present study, we report on the identification and characterization of a collagen gene encoding a polypeptide which is co-expressed with the alpha 1(VIII) chain in corneal endothelial cells. This collagen chain contains a triple-helical and a carboxyl non-triple-helical domain encoded by a single, large exon both in mice and humans. We conclude, therefore, that the genes encodes a novel member of the short chain collagen family, and we have given this chain the designation alpha 2(VIII) collagen. By in situ hybridization we demonstrate that the alpha 2(VIII) gene is located in the p32.3-p34.3 region of the short arm of chromosome 1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Collagen / genetics*
  • Cornea / metabolism
  • DNA / genetics
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Metaphase
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rabbits
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Collagen
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M60203
  • GENBANK/M60204
  • GENBANK/M60205
  • GENBANK/M60206
  • GENBANK/M60257
  • GENBANK/M60258
  • GENBANK/M60259
  • GENBANK/M60832
  • GENBANK/M60833
  • GENBANK/M62780