Splicing defects in the COL3A1 gene: marked preference for 5' (donor) spice-site mutations in patients with exon-skipping mutations and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type IV

Am J Hum Genet. 1997 Dec;61(6):1276-86. doi: 10.1086/301641.


Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) type IV results from mutations in the COL3A1 gene, which encodes the constituent chains of type III procollagen. We have identified, in 33 unrelated individuals or families with EDS type IV, mutations that affect splicing, of which 30 are point mutations at splice junctions and 3 are small deletions that remove splice-junction sequences and partial exon sequences. Except for one point mutation at a donor site, which leads to partial intron inclusion, and a single base-pair substitution at an acceptor site, which gives rise to inclusion of the complete upstream intron into the mature mRNA, all mutations result in deletion of a single exon as the only splice alteration. Of the exon-skipping mutations that are due to single base substitutions, which we have identified in 28 separate individuals, only two affect the splice-acceptor site. The underrepresentation of splice acceptor-site mutations suggests that the favored consequence of 3' mutations is the use of an alternative acceptor site that creates a null allele with a premature-termination codon. The phenotypes of those mutations may differ, with respect to either their severity or their symptomatic range, from the usual presentation of EDS type IV and thus have been excluded from analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / classification
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / genetics*
  • Exons / genetics
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Introns / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Procollagen / genetics*
  • RNA Splicing*
  • Sequence Deletion


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Procollagen