Deep intronic mutation in CRTAP results in unstable isoforms of the protein to induce type I collagen aggregation in a lethal type of osteogenesis imperfecta type VII

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2023 Aug;1869(6):166741. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2023.166741. Epub 2023 May 3.


Genetic mutations are involved in Mendelian disorders. Unbuffered intronic mutations in gene variants can generate aberrant splice sites in mutant transcripts, resulting in mutant isoforms of proteins with modulated expression, stability, and function in diseased cells. Here, we identify a deep intronic variant, c.794_1403A>G, in CRTAP by genome sequencing of a male fetus with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) type VII. The mutation introduces cryptic splice sites in intron-3 of CRTAP, resulting in two mature mutant transcripts with cryptic exons. While transcript-1 translates to a truncated isoform (277 amino acids) with thirteen C-terminal non-wild-type amino acids, transcript-2 translates to a wild-type protein sequence, except that this isoform contains an in-frame fusion of non-wild-type twenty-five amino acids in a tetratricopeptide repeat sequence. Both mutant isoforms of CRTAP are unstable due to the presence of a unique 'GWxxI' degron, which finally leads to loss of proline hydroxylation and aggregation of type I collagen. Although type I collagen aggregates undergo autophagy, the overall proteotoxicity resulted in death of the proband cells by senescence. In summary, we present a genetic disease pathomechanism by linking a novel deep intronic mutation in CRTAP to unstable mutant isoforms of the protein in lethal OI type VII.

Keywords: Autophagy; CRTAP; Degron; Osteogenesis imperfecta; Senescence; Splice site variant; Unstable protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids
  • Collagen Type I* / genetics
  • Collagen Type I* / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Chaperones / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta* / genetics
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta* / metabolism
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics


  • Collagen Type I
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Amino Acids

Supplementary concepts

  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type VII