A translocation interrupts the COL5A1 gene in a patient with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and hypomelanosis of Ito

Nat Genet. 1996 Jul;13(3):361-5. doi: 10.1038/ng0796-361.


Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a genetically and pathogenetically heterogeneous group of disorders of which at least 11 types have been described. All are connective tissue disorders characterized by defects of the skin, ligaments and blood vessels with the clinical spectrum ranging from innocuous findings to lethality. Mutations in the genes encoding the major fibrillar collagen types I and III have been demonstrated in EDS types VII and IV, respectively, while mutations in the lysyl hydroxylase and ATP7A genes, with roles in collagen cross-linking, are responsible for EDS types VI and IX. The biochemical and molecular bases for the most common forms of EDS (types I, II and III) are unknown. Here, we describe a balanced translocation between chromosome 9 and an X chromosome that disrupts the minor fibrillar collagen type V gene COL5A1 in a patient with both EDS type I and hypomelanosis of Ito. The breakpoint occurs at 9q34 within COL5A1 intron 24 and interestingly, within a LINE-1 (L1) element at Xp21.1. A fusion mRNA between COL5A1 and an Alu sequence is produced, but no aberrant protein is detectable. Rather, the amount of type V collagen is reduced in the patient's fibroblasts, suggesting haploinsufficiency as a cuase of the phenotype. This demonstrates that a mutation in a type V collagen gene, COL5A1, results in EDS type I, and shows the involvement of L1 sequences in a constitutional chromosomal translocation. Because collagen type V is a heteromorphic protein in which molecules may be composed of polypeptides encoded by three COL5A genes, this suggests all three genes as candidates for mutations in EDS.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Child
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 9
  • Collagen / genetics*
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / complications
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / genetics*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Pigmentation Disorders / complications
  • Pigmentation Disorders / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Translocation, Genetic*
  • X Chromosome


  • Collagen

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U44119
  • GENBANK/U44120
  • GENBANK/U44121
  • GENBANK/U44122