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

Evidence for a type-IV-related collagen in Drosophila melanogaster. Evolutionary constancy of the carboxyl-terminal noncollagenous domain.

Type IV collagen, a major structural component of basement membrane, has been characterized only in vertebrates. It is unique among the collagenous proteins in that it forms specific lattice networks by end-to-end interactions. In particular, in mammals the C-terminal noncollagenous domain (NCl) of collagen IV was shown to be one of the major cross-linking sites in the network assembly. Here, we give the first direct evidence of type-IV-related collagen in invertebrates by sequence analysis of cDNA and genomic DNA clones for the 3'-end of a previously characterized Drosophila collagen gene. The data describe the C-terminal 190 amino acid residues of the triple helix and the entire noncollagenous domain (231 amino acids) of the chain encoded for by this gene. Comparison with data reported for human and mouse alpha 1(IV) chains reveals that triple-helix regions are quite different, while NC1 structures are very similar. This suggests different constraints on triple-helix and NC1 domains during evolution. Present data support the assumption that the NC1 structure originated from duplication of an ancestral sequence; the extent of both interspecies and intramolecular homologies suggests the maintenance in vertebrates and invertebrates of an ancestral specific function.[1]


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