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

An RNA-splicing mutation (G+5IVS20) in the type II collagen gene (COL2A1) in a family with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita.

Defects in type II collagen have been demonstrated in a phenotypic continuum of chondrodysplasias that includes achondrogenesis II, hypochondrogenesis, spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SEDC), Kniest dysplasia, and Stickler syndrome. We have determined that cartilage from a terminated fetus with an inherited form of SEDC contained both normal alpha 1(II) collagen chains and chains that lacked amino acids 256-273 of the triple-helical domain. PCR amplification of this region of COL2A1, from genomic DNA, yielded products of normal size, while amplification of cDNA yielded a normal sized species and a shorter fragment missing exon 20. Sequence analysis of genomic DNA from the fetus revealed a G-->T transversion at position +5 of intron 20; the affected father was also heterozygous for the mutation. Allele-specific PCR and heteroduplex analysis of a VNTR in COL2A1 independently confirmed the unaffected status of a fetus in a subsequent pregnancy. Thermodynamic calculations suggest that the mutation prevents normal splicing of exon 20 by interfering with binding of U1 small-nuclear RNA to pre-mRNA, thus leading to skipping of exon 20 in transcripts from the mutant allele. Electron micrographs of diseased cartilage showed intracellular inclusion bodies, which were stained by an antibody to alpha 1(II) procollagen. Our findings support the hypothesis that alpha-chain length alterations that preserve the Gly-X-Y repeat motif of the triple helix result in partial intracellular retention of alpha 1(II) procollagen and produce mild to moderate chondrodysplasia phenotypes.[1]


  1. An RNA-splicing mutation (G+5IVS20) in the type II collagen gene (COL2A1) in a family with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita. Tiller, G.E., Weis, M.A., Polumbo, P.A., Gruber, H.E., Rimoin, D.L., Cohn, D.H., Eyre, D.R. Am. J. Hum. Genet. (1995) [Pubmed]
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