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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential expression of two exons of the alpha1(XI) collagen gene (Col11a1) in the mouse embryo.

The amino terminal domain of collagen XI has a unique structure, which is believed to participate in the regulation of matrix assembly. Interestingly, several distinct isoforms of the amino terminal domain of alpha1(XI) and alpha2(XI) collagen chains exist as a result of alternative splicing. Here we report the analysis of the alternative splicing pattern of the mouse alpha1(XI) collagen gene (Col11a1). Like other vertebrate species, the mutually exclusive expression of exons 6A and 6B of Col11a1 results in the inclusion in the alpha1 chain of either an acidic peptide (pI 3.14) or a basic peptide (pI 11.66). Expression of these two exons was monitored in several tissues of the 16.5-day mouse embryo by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, with exon-specific cDNA probes and peptide-specific antibodies, respectively. The results documented that isoforms containing the exon 6B-encoded peptide accumulate predominantly in the vertebrae, skeletal muscles and intestinal epithelium. By contrast, exon 6A products were found to be most abundant in the smooth muscle cells of the intestine, aorta and lung. The results using in situ hybridization confirmed those using immunohistochemistry. Albeit correlative, the evidence suggests distinct contributions of the two peptides to the differential assembly of tissue-specific matrices.[1]


  1. Differential expression of two exons of the alpha1(XI) collagen gene (Col11a1) in the mouse embryo. Iyama, K., Sumiyoshi, H., Khaleduzzaman, M., Matsuo, N., Ninomiya, Y., Yoshioka, H. Matrix Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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