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1.  Kuskokwim syndrome, a recessive congenital contracture disorder, extends the phenotype of FKBP10 mutations 
Human mutation  2013;34(9):1279-1288.
Recessive mutations in FKBP10 at 17q21.2, encoding FKBP65, cause both osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) and Bruck syndrome (OI plus congenital contractures). Contractures are a variable manifestation of null/missense FKBP10 mutations. Kuskokwim syndrome (KS) is an autosomal recessive congenital contracture disorder found among Yup’ik Eskimos. Linkage mapping of KS to chromosome 17q21, together with contractures as a feature of FKBP10 mutations, made FKBP10 a candidate gene. We identified a homozygous 3-nucleotide deletion in FKBP10 (c.877_879delTAC) in multiple Kuskokwim pedigrees; 3% of regional controls are carriers. The mutation deletes the highly conserved p.Tyr293 residue in FKBP65’s 3rd PPIase domain. FKBP10 transcripts are normal, but mutant FKBP65 is destabilized to a residual 5%. Collagen synthesized by KS fibroblasts has substantially decreased hydroxylation of the telopeptide lysine crucial for collagen cross-linking, with 2–10% hydroxylation in probands vs 60% in controls. Matrix deposited by KS fibroblasts has marked reduction in maturely cross-linked collagen. KS collagen is disorganized in matrix, and fibrils formed in vitro had subtle loosening of monomer packing. Our results imply that FKBP10 mutations affect collagen indirectly, by ablating FKBP65 support for collagen telopeptide hydroxylation by LH2, thus decreasing collagen crosslinks in tendon and bone matrix. FKBP10 mutations may also underlie other arthrogryposis syndromes.
PMCID: PMC3770534  PMID: 23712425
osteogenesis imperfecta; contractures; FKBP65; FKBP10; Bruck syndrome
2.  Consortium for Osteogenesis Imperfecta Mutations in the Helical Domain of Type I Collagen: Regions Rich in Lethal Mutations Align With Collagen Binding Sites for Integrins and Proteoglycans 
Human mutation  2007;28(3):209-221.
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a generalized disorder of connective tissue characterized by fragile bones and easy susceptibility to fracture. Most cases of OI are caused by mutations in type I collagen. We have identified and assembled structural mutations in type I collagen genes (COL1A1 and COL1A2, encoding the proα1(I) and proα2(I) chains, respectively) that result in OI. Quantitative defects causing type I OI were not included. Of these 832 independent mutations, 682 result in substitution for glycine residues in the triple helical domain of the encoded protein and 150 alter splice sites. Distinct genotype–phenotype relationships emerge for each chain. One-third of the mutations that result in glycine substitutions in α1(I) are lethal, especially when the substituting residues are charged or have a branched side chain. Substitutions in the first 200 residues are nonlethal and have variable outcome thereafter, unrelated to folding or helix stability domains. Two exclusively lethal regions (helix positions 691–823 and 910–964) align with major ligand binding regions (MLBRs), suggesting crucial interactions of collagen monomers or fibrils with integrins, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), fibronectin, and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). Mutations in COL1A2 are predominantly nonlethal (80%). Lethal substitutions are located in eight regularly spaced clusters along the chain, supporting a regional model. The lethal regions align with proteoglycan binding sites along the fibril, suggesting a role in fibril–matrix interactions. Recurrences at the same site in α2(I) are generally concordant for outcome, unlike α1(I). Splice site mutations comprise 20% of helical mutations identified in OI patients, and may lead to exon skipping, intron inclusion, or the activation of cryptic splice sites. Splice site mutations in COL1A1 are rarely lethal; they often lead to frameshifts and the mild type I phenotype. In α2(I), lethal exon skipping events are located in the carboxyl half of the chain. Our data on genotype–phenotype relationships indicate that the two collagen chains play very different roles in matrix integrity and that phenotype depends on intracellular and extracellular events.
PMCID: PMC4144349  PMID: 17078022
osteogenesis imperfecta; type I collagen; genotype–phenotype; proteoglycan binding; COL1A1; COL1A2
3.  Alendronate Treatment of Brtl Osteogenesis Imperfecta Mouse Improves Femoral Geometry and Load Response before Fracture but Decreases Predicted Material Properties and has Detrimental Effects on Osteoblasts and Bone Formation 
Long courses of bisphosphonates are widely administered to children with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), although bisphosphonates do not block mutant collagen secretion and may affect bone matrix composition or structure. The Brtl mouse has a glycine substitution in col1a1, and is ideal for modeling the effects of bisphosphonate in classical OI. We treated Brtl and wild-type mice with alendronate (0.219 mg/kg/wk sq) for 6 or 12 weeks and compared treated and untreated femora of both genotypes. Mutant and wild-type bone had similar responses to Aln treatment. Femoral areal BMD and cortical vBMD increased significantly after 12 weeks, but femoral length and growth curves were unaltered. Alendronate improved Brtl diaphyseal cortical thickness and trabecular number after 6 weeks, and cross-sectional shape after 12 weeks. Mechanically, Aln significantly increased stiffness in wild-type femora, and load to fracture in both genotypes after 12 weeks. However, predicted material strength and elastic modulus were negatively impacted by 12 week Aln in both genotypes, and metaphyseal remnants of mineralized cartilage also increased. Brtl femoral brittleness was unimproved. Brtl osteoclast and osteoblast surface were unchanged by treatment. However, decreased MAR and BFR/BS and the flattened morphology of Brtl osteoblasts suggested that Aln impaired osteoblast function and matrix synthesis. We conclude that alendronate treatment improves Brtl femoral geometry and load to fracture, but decreases bone matrix synthesis and predicted material modulus and strength, with striking retention of mineralized cartilage. Beneficial and detrimental changes appear concomitantly. Limiting cumulative bisphosphonate exposure of OI bone will minimize detrimental effects.
PMCID: PMC2672204  PMID: 19113917
Brtl Mouse; Bisphosphonates; Osteogenesis Imperfecta; Biomechanics; Histomorphometry; Bone Quality
4.  Absence of FKBP10 in Recessive Type XI Osteogenesis Imperfecta Leads to Diminished Collagen Cross-Linking and Reduced Collagen Deposition in Extracellular Matrix 
Human mutation  2012;33(11):1589-1598.
Recessive osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is caused by defects in genes whose products interact with type I collagen for modification and/or folding. We identified a Palestinian pedigree with moderate and lethal forms of recessive OI caused by mutations in FKBP10 or PPIB, which encode endoplasmic reticulum resident chaperone/isomerases FKBP65 and CyPB, respectively. In one pedigree branch, both parents carry a deletion in PPIB (c.563_566delACAG), causing lethal type IX OI in their two children. In another branch, a child with moderate type XI OI has a homozygous FKBP10 mutation (c.1271_1272delCCinsA). Proband FKBP10 transcripts are 4% of control and FKBP65 protein is absent from proband cells. Proband collagen electrophoresis reveals slight band broadening, compatible with ≈10% overmodification. Normal chain incorporation, helix folding, and collagen Tm support a minimal general collagen chaperone role for FKBP65. However, there is a dramatic decrease in collagen deposited in culture despite normal collagen secretion. Mass spectrometry reveals absence of hydroxylation of the collagen telopeptide lysine involved in cross-linking, suggesting that FKBP65 is required for lysyl hydroxylase activity or access to type I collagen telopeptide lysines, perhaps through its function as a peptidylprolyl isomerase. Proband collagen to organics ratio in matrix is approximately 30% of normal in Raman spectra. Immunofluorescence shows sparse, disorganized collagen fibrils in proband matrix.
PMCID: PMC3470738  PMID: 22718341
osteogenesis imperfecta; Bruck syndrome; FKBP65; FKBP10; PPIB; peptidylprolyl isomerase
5.  New Perspectives on Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
Nature reviews. Endocrinology  2011;7(9):540-557.
A new paradigm has emerged for osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) as a collagen-related disorder. The more prevalent autosomal dominant forms of OI are caused by primary defects in type I collagen, while autosomal recessive forms are caused by deficiency of proteins which interact with type I procollagen for post-translational modification and/or folding. Factors contributing to the mechanism of dominant OI include intracellular stress, disruption of interactions between collagen and non-collagenous proteins, compromised matrix structure, abnormal cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions and tissue mineralization. Recessive OI is caused by deficiency of any of the three components of the collagen prolyl 3-hydroxylation complex; absence of 3-hydroxylation is associated with increased modification of the collagen helix, supporting delayed collagen folding. Other causes of recessive OI include deficiency of collagen chaperones, FKBP65 or HSP47. Murine models are crucial to uncovering the common pathways in dominant and recessive OI bone dysplasia. Clinical management of OI is multidiscipinary, encompassing substantial progress in physical rehabilitation and surgical procedures, managment of hearing, dental and pulmonary abnormalities, as well as drugs such as bisphosphonates and rGH. Novel treatments using cell therapy or new drug regimens hold promise for the future.
PMCID: PMC3443407  PMID: 21670757
6.  A Founder Mutation in LEPRE1 Carried by 1.5% of West Africans and 0.4% of African Americans Causes Lethal Recessive Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
Genetics in Medicine  2012;14(5):543-551.
Deficiency of prolyl 3-hydroxylase 1, encoded by LEPRE1, causes recessive osteogenesis imperfecta. We previously identified a LEPRE1 mutation, exclusively in African Americans and contemporary West Africans. We hypothesized that this allele originated in West Africa and was introduced to the Americas with the Atlantic slave trade. We aimed to determine the frequency of carriers for this mutation among African Americans and West Africans, and the mutation origin and age.
Genomic DNA was screened for the mutation using PCR and restriction digestion, and a custom TaqMan genomic SNP assay. The mutation age was estimated using microsatellites and short tandem repeats spanning 4.2 Mb surrounding LEPRE1 in probands and carriers.
Approximately 0.4% of Mid-Atlantic African Americans carry this mutation, estimating recessive OI in 1/260,000 births in this population. In Nigeria and Ghana, 1.48% of unrelated individuals are heterozygous carriers, predicting 1/18,260 births will be affected with recessive OI, equal to the incidence of de novo dominant OI. The mutation was not detected in Africans from surrounding countries. All carriers shared a haplotype of 63-770 Kb, consistent with a single founder for this mutation. Using linkage disequilibrium analysis, the mutation was estimated to have originated between 650 and 900 years before present (1100-1350 C.E.).
We identified a West African founder mutation for recessive OI in LEPRE1. Nearly 1.5% of Ghanians and Nigerians are carriers. The age of this allele is consistent with introduction to North America via the Atlantic slave trade (1501 – 1867 C.E).
PMCID: PMC3393768  PMID: 22281939
LEPRE1; osteogenesis imperfecta; founder mutation; West Africa
7.  COL1 C-propeptide Cleavage Site Mutations Cause High Bone Mass Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
Human mutation  2011;32(6):598-609.
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is most often caused by mutations in the type I procollagen genes (COL1A1/COL1A2). We identified two children with substitutions in the type I procollagen C-propeptide cleavage site, which disrupt a unique processing step in collagen maturation and define a novel phenotype within OI. The patients have mild OI caused by mutations in COL1A1 (Patient 1: p.Asp1219Asn) or COL1A2 (Patient 2: p.Ala1119Thr), respectively. Patient 1 L1-L4 DXA z-score was +3.9 and pQCT vBMD was +3.1; Patient 2 had L1-L4 DXA z-score of 0.0 and pQCT vBMD of −1.8. Patient BMD contrasts with radiographic osteopenia and histomorphometry without osteosclerosis. Mutant procollagen processing is impaired in pericellular and in vitro assays. Patient dermal collagen fibrils have irregular borders. Incorporation of pC-collagen into matrix leads to increased bone mineralization. FT-IR imaging confirms elevated mineral/matrix ratios in both patients, along with increased collagen maturation in trabecular bone, compared to normal or OI controls. Bone mineralization density distribution revealed a marked shift toward increased mineralization density for both patients. Patient 1 has areas of higher and lower bone mineralization than controls; Patient 2’s bone matrix has a mineral content exceeding even classical OI bone. These patients define a new phenotype of high BMD OI and demonstrate that procollagen C-propeptide cleavage is crucial to normal bone mineralization.
PMCID: PMC3103631  PMID: 21344539
Osteogenesis imperfecta; C-propeptide; collagen; C-proteinase; mineralization; high bone mass
8.  Abnormal Type I Collagen Post-translational Modification and Crosslinking in a Cyclophilin B KO Mouse Model of Recessive Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(6):e1004465.
Cyclophilin B (CyPB), encoded by PPIB, is an ER-resident peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPIase) that functions independently and as a component of the collagen prolyl 3-hydroxylation complex. CyPB is proposed to be the major PPIase catalyzing the rate-limiting step in collagen folding. Mutations in PPIB cause recessively inherited osteogenesis imperfecta type IX, a moderately severe to lethal bone dysplasia. To investigate the role of CyPB in collagen folding and post-translational modifications, we generated Ppib−/− mice that recapitulate the OI phenotype. Knock-out (KO) mice are small, with reduced femoral areal bone mineral density (aBMD), bone volume per total volume (BV/TV) and mechanical properties, as well as increased femoral brittleness. Ppib transcripts are absent in skin, fibroblasts, femora and calvarial osteoblasts, and CyPB is absent from KO osteoblasts and fibroblasts on western blots. Only residual (2–11%) collagen prolyl 3-hydroxylation is detectable in KO cells and tissues. Collagen folds more slowly in the absence of CyPB, supporting its rate-limiting role in folding. However, treatment of KO cells with cyclosporine A causes further delay in folding, indicating the potential existence of another collagen PPIase. We confirmed and extended the reported role of CyPB in supporting collagen lysyl hydroxylase (LH1) activity. Ppib−/− fibroblast and osteoblast collagen has normal total lysyl hydroxylation, while increased collagen diglycosylation is observed. Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) analysis of bone and osteoblast type I collagen revealed site-specific alterations of helical lysine hydroxylation, in particular, significantly reduced hydroxylation of helical crosslinking residue K87. Consequently, underhydroxylated forms of di- and trivalent crosslinks are strikingly increased in KO bone, leading to increased total crosslinks and decreased helical hydroxylysine- to lysine-derived crosslink ratios. The altered crosslink pattern was associated with decreased collagen deposition into matrix in culture, altered fibril structure in tissue, and reduced bone strength. These studies demonstrate novel consequences of the indirect regulatory effect of CyPB on collagen hydroxylation, impacting collagen glycosylation, crosslinking and fibrillogenesis, which contribute to maintaining bone mechanical properties.
Author Summary
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), or brittle bone disease, is characterized by susceptibility to fractures from minimal trauma and growth deficiency. Deficiency of components of the collagen prolyl 3-hydroxylation complex, CRTAP, P3H1 and CyPB, cause recessive types VII, VIII and IX OI, respectively. We have previously shown that mutual protection within the endoplasmic reticulum accounts for the overlapping severe phenotype of patients with CRTAP and P3H1 mutations. However, the bone dysplasia in patients with CyPB deficiency is distinct in terms of phenotype and type I collagen biochemistry. Using a knock-out mouse model of type IX OI, we have demonstrated that CyPB is the major, although not unique, peptidyl prolyl cis-trans isomerase that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in collagen folding. CyPB is also required for activity of the collagen prolyl 3-hydroxylation complex; collagen α1(I) P986 modification is lost in the absence of CyPB. Unexpectedly, CyPB was found to also influence collagen helical lysyl hydroxylation in a tissue-, cell- and residue-specific manner. Thus CyPB facilitates collagen folding directly, but also indirectly regulates collagen hydroxylation, glycosylation, crosslinking and fibrillogenesis through its interactions with other collagen modifying enzymes in the endoplasmic reticulum.
PMCID: PMC4072593  PMID: 24968150
9.  Sclerostin Antibody Improves Skeletal Parameters in a Brtl/+ Mouse Model of Osteogenesis Imperfecta† 
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic bone dysplasia characterized by osteopenia and easy susceptibility to fracture. Symptoms are most prominent during childhood. Although anti-resorptive bisphosphonates have been widely used to treat pediatric OI, controlled trials showed improved vertebral parameters but equivocal effects on long-bone fracture rates. New treatments for OI are needed to increase bone mass throughout the skeleton. Sclerostin antibody (Scl-Ab) therapy is potently anabolic in the skeleton by stimulating osteoblasts via the canonical wnt signaling pathway, and may be beneficial for treating OI. In this study, Scl-Ab therapy was investigated in mice heterozygous for a typical OI-causing Gly->Cys substitution in col1a1. Two weeks of Scl-Ab successfully stimulated osteoblast bone formation in Brtl/+ and WT mice, leading to improved bone mass and reduced long-bone fragility. Image-guided nanoindentation revealed no alteration in local tissue mineralization dynamics with Scl-Ab. These results contrast with previous findings of antiresorptive efficacy in OI both in mechanism and potency of effects on fragility. In conclusion, short-term Scl-Ab was successfully anabolic in osteoblasts harboring a typical OI-causing collagen mutation and represents a potential new therapy to improve bone mass and reduce fractures in pediatric OI.
PMCID: PMC3524379  PMID: 22836659
Osteogenesis imperfecta; Sclerostin antibody; collagen; bone mass; anabolic therapy
10.  Effects of tissue hydration on nanoscale structural morphology and mechanics of individual Type I collagen fibrils in the Brtl mouse model of Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
Journal of structural biology  2012;180(3):428-438.
Type I collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, and is a vital part of the extracellular matrix for numerous tissues. Despite collagen’s importance, little is known about its nanoscale morphology in tissues and how morphology relates to mechanical function. This study probes nanoscale structure and mechanical properties of collagen as a function of disease in native hydrated tendons. Wild type tendon and tendon from the Brtl/+ mouse model of Osteogenesis Imperfecta were investigated. An atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to image and indent minimally-processed collagen fibrils in hydrated and dehydrated conditions. AFM was used because of the ability to keep biological tissues as close to their native in situ conditions as possible. The study demonstrated phenotypic difference in Brtl/+ fibril morphology and mechanics in hydrated tendon which became more compelling upon dehydration. Dried tendons had a significant downward shift in fibril D-periodic spacing versus a shift up in wet tendons. Nanoscale changes in morphology in dry samples were accompanied by significant increases in modulus and adhesion force and decreased indentation depth. A minimal mechanical phenotype existed in hydrated samples, possibly due to water masking structural defects within the diseased fibrils. This study demonstrates that collagen nanoscale morphology and mechanics are impacted in Brtl/+ tendons, and that the phenotype can be modulated by the presence or absence of water. Dehydration causes artifacts in biological samples which require water and this factor must be considered for studies at any length scale in collagen-based tissues, especially when characterizing disease-induced differences.
PMCID: PMC3685442  PMID: 23041293
AFM; Ultrastructure; Genotype/phenotype; D-periodic spacing; Modulus; Energy
11.  Impaired Osteoblastogenesis in a Murine Model of Dominant Osteogenesis Imperfecta: A New Target for Osteogenesis Imperfecta Pharmacological Therapy 
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)  2012;30(7):1465-1476.
The molecular basis underlying the clinical phenotype in bone diseases is customarily associated with abnormal extracellular matrix structure and/or properties. More recently, cellular malfunction has been identified as a concomitant causative factor and increased attention has focused on stem cells differentiation. Classic osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a prototype for heritable bone dysplasias: it has dominant genetic transmission and is caused by mutations in the genes coding for collagen I, the most abundant protein in bone. Using the Brtl mouse, a well-characterized knockin model for moderately severe dominant OI, we demonstrated an impairment in the differentiation of bone marrow progenitor cells toward osteoblasts. In mutant mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), the expression of early (Runx2 and Sp7) and late (Col1a1 and Ibsp) osteoblastic markers was significantly reduced with respect to wild type (WT). Conversely, mutant MSCs generated more colony-forming unit-adipocytes compared to WT, with more adipocytes per colony, and increased number and size of triglyceride drops per cell. Autophagy upregulation was also demonstrated in mutant adult MSCs differentiating toward osteogenic lineage as consequence of endoplasmic reticulum stress due to mutant collagen retention. Treatment of the Brtl mice with the proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib ameliorated both osteoblast differentiation in vitro and bone properties in vivo as demonstrated by colony-forming unit-osteoblasts assay and peripheral quantitative computed tomography analysis on long bones, respectively. This is the first report of impaired MSC differentiation to osteoblasts in OI, and it identifies a new potential target for the pharmacological treatment of the disorder.
PMCID: PMC3459187  PMID: 22511244
Osteogenesis imperfecta; Adult stem cell; Osteoblastogenesis; Adipogenesis; Adult stem cells differentiation; Autophagy
12.  Mineral and Matrix Changes in Brtl/+ Teeth Provide Insights into Mineralization Mechanisms 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:295812.
The Brtl/+ mouse is a knock-in model for osteogenesis imperfecta type IV in which a Gly349Cys substitution was introduced into one COL1A1 allele. To gain insight into the changes in dentin structure and mineral composition in these transgenic mice, the objective of this study was to use microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Fourier transform infrared imaging (FTIRI) to analyze these structures at 2 and 6 months of age. Results, consistent with the dental phenotype in humans with type IV OI, showed decreased molar volume and reduced mineralized tissue volume in the teeth without changes in enamel properties. Increased acid phosphate content was noted at 2 and 6 months by FTIRI, and a trend towards altered collagen structure was noted at 2 but not 6 months in the Brtl/+ teeth. The increase in acid phosphate content suggests a delay in the mineralization process, most likely associated with the defect in the collagen structure. It appears that in the Brtl/+ teeth slow maturation of the mineralized structures allows correction of altered mineral content and acid phosphate distribution.
PMCID: PMC3681234  PMID: 23802117
13.  Increased susceptibility to microdamage in Brtl/+ mouse model for osteogenesis imperfecta☆ 
Bone  2011;50(3):784-791.
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disease of collagen or collagen-related proteins that adversely impacts bone mass and fracture resistance. Little is known regarding the role that microdamage plays in OI and whether or not OI bone is more prone to damage accumulation than bone with unaffected collagen. The Brtl/+ mouse is a heterozygous model for OI which contains a Gly349Cys substitution in one COL1A1 allele, and demonstrates a low ductility phenotype. At 8 weeks of age, Brtl/+ demonstrates an increase in osteoclast number, which mimics the upregulated bone turnover often found in OI patients. We hypothesize that upregulated osteoclast activity in Brtl/+ is due, in part, to increased remodeling associated with microdamage repair. In the present study, we used Brtl/+ to investigate the susceptibility of OI bone to microdamage. The mouse ulnar loading model was used to induce microdamage and to test the hypothesis that Brtl/+ is more susceptible to damage accumulation than age-matched wild type (WT) counterparts. Linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) was used to investigate the fracture toughness properties of both Brtl/+ and WT bones to determine if there is any correlation with toughness and the degree of microdamage.
Results show that Brtl/+ ulnae subject to normal cage activity demonstrate an inherently larger amount of microdamage than WT controls. Following axial compressive loading, Brtl/+ ulnae are more prone to damage than WT counterparts despite demonstrating a greater resistance to whole-bone deformation. Fracture toughness results demonstrate that Brtl/+ specimens, despite not exhibiting a significant difference, display a trend toward lower fracture toughness values than their WT counterparts. Correlations show that microdamage levels tend to increase as fracture toughness decreases. Together, these findings may have strong clinical implications for explaining increased fragility and remodeling activity in OI patients.
PMCID: PMC3443405  PMID: 22207275
Microdamage; Osteogenesis imperfecta; Mouse model; Fracture toughness; Collagen
14.  A Novel Mutation in LEPRE1 That Eliminates Only the KDEL ER- Retrieval Sequence Causes Non-Lethal Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36809.
Prolyl 3-hydroxylase 1 (P3H1), encoded by the LEPRE1 gene, forms a molecular complex with cartilage-associated protein (CRTAP) and cyclophilin B (encoded by PPIB) in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This complex is responsible for one step in collagen post-translational modification, the prolyl 3-hydroxylation of specific proline residues, specifically α1(I) Pro986. P3H1 provides the enzymatic activity of the complex and has a Lys-Asp-Glu-Leu (KDEL) ER-retrieval sequence at the carboxyl terminus. Loss of function mutations in LEPRE1 lead to the Pro986 residue remaining unmodified and lead to slow folding and excessive helical post-translational modification of type I collagen, which is seen in both dominant and recessive osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). Here, we present the case of siblings with non-lethal OI due to novel compound heterozygous mutations in LEPRE1 (c.484delG and c.2155dupC). The results of RNA analysis and real-time PCR suggest that mRNA with c.2155dupC escapes from nonsense-mediated RNA decay. Without the KDEL ER- retrieval sequence, the product of the c.2155dupC variant cannot be retained in the ER. This is the first report of a mutation in LEPRE1 that eliminates only the KDEL ER-retrieval sequence, whereas other functional domains remain intact. Our study shows, for the first time, that the KDEL ER- retrieval sequence is essential for P3H1 functionality and that a defect in KDEL is sufficient for disease onset.
PMCID: PMC3352923  PMID: 22615817
15.  Nanoscale Morphology of Type I Collagen is Altered in the Brtl Mouse Model of Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
Journal of structural biology  2010;173(1):146-152.
Bone has a complex hierarchical structure that has evolved to serve structural and metabolic roles in the body. Due to the complexity of bone structure and the number of diseases which affect the ultrastructural constituents of bone, it is important to develop quantitative methods to assess bone nanoscale properties. Autosomal dominant Osteogenesis Imperfecta results predominantly from glycine substitutions (80%) and splice site mutations (20%) in the genes encoding the α1 or α2 chains of Type I collagen. Genotype-phenotype correlations using over 830 collagen mutations have revealed that lethal mutations are located in regions crucial for collagen-ligand binding in the matrix. However, few of these correlations have been extended to collagen structure in bone. Here, an atomic force microscopy-based approach was used to image and quantitatively analyze the D-periodic spacing of Type I collagen fibrils in femora from heterozygous (Brtl/+) mice (α1(I)G349C), compared to wild type (WT) littermates. This disease system has a well-defined change in the col1α1 allele, leading to a well characterized alteration in collagen protein structure, which are directly related to altered Type I collagen nanoscale morphology, as measured by the D-periodic spacing. In Brtl/+ bone, the D-periodic spacing shows significantly greater variability on average and along the length of the bone compared to WT, although the average spacing was unchanged. Brtl/+ bone also had a significant difference in the population distribution of collagen D-period spacings. These changes may be due to the mutant collagen structure, or to the heterogeneity of collagen monomers in the Brtl/+ matrix. These observations at the nanoscale level provide insight into the structural basis for changes present in bone composition, geometry and mechanical integrity in Brtl/+ bones. Further studies are necessary to link these morphological observations to nanoscale mechanical integrity.
PMCID: PMC2997118  PMID: 20696252
AFM; Ultrastructure; Nanoscale; 2D FFT; Genotype/Phenotype
16.  Null mutations in LEPRE1 and CRTAP cause severe recessive osteogenesis imperfecta 
Cell and tissue research  2009;339(1):59-70.
Classical osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a dominant genetic disorder of connective tissue caused by mutations in either of the two genes encoding type I collagen, COL1A1 and COL1A2. Recent investigations, however, have generated a new paradigm for OI incorporating many of the prototypical features that distinguish dominant and recessive conditions, within a type I collagen framework. We and others have shown that the long-sought cause of the recessive form of OI, first postulated in the Sillence classification, lies in defects in the genes encoding cartilage-associated protein (CRTAP) or prolyl 3-hydroxylase 1 (P3H1/LEPRE1). Together with cyclophilin B (PPIB), CRTAP and P3H1 comprise the collagen prolyl 3-hydroxylation complex, which catalyzes a specific post-translational modification of types I, II, and V collagen, and may act as a general chaperone. Patients with mutations in CRTAP or LEPRE1 have a lethal to severe osteochondrodystrophy that overlaps with Sillence types II and III OI but has distinctive features. Infants with recessive OI have white sclerae, undertubulation of the long bones, gracile ribs without beading, and a small to normal head circumference. Those who survive to childhood or the teen years have severe growth deficiency and extreme bone fragility. Most causative mutations result in null alleles, with the absence or severe reduction of gene transcripts and proteins. As expected, 3-hydroxylation of the Pro986 residue is absent or severly reduced, but bone severity and survival length do not correlate with the extent of residual hydroxylation. Surprisingly, the collagen produced by cells with an absence of Pro986 hydroxylation has helical overmodification by lysyl hydroxylase and prolyl 4-hydroxylase, indicating that the folding of the collagen helix has been substantially delayed.
PMCID: PMC3156555  PMID: 19862557
Recessive osteogenesis imperfecta; CRTAP; P3H1/LEPRE1; Prolyl 3-hydroxylation; Osteochondrodysplasia
17.  Lack of Cyclophilin B in Osteogenesis Imperfecta with Normal Collagen Folding 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;362(6):521-528.
Osteogenesis imperfecta is a heritable disorder that causes bone fragility. Mutations in type I collagen result in autosomal dominant osteogenesis imperfecta, whereas mutations in either of two components of the collagen prolyl 3-hydroxylation complex (cartilage-associated protein [CRTAP] and prolyl 3-hydroxylase 1 [P3H1]) cause autosomal recessive osteogenesis imperfecta with rhizomelia (shortening of proximal segments of upper and lower limbs) and delayed collagen folding. We identified two siblings who had recessive osteogenesis imperfecta without rhizomelia. They had a homozygous start-codon mutation in the peptidyl-prolyl isomerase B gene (PPIB), which results in a lack of cyclophilin B (CyPB), the third component of the complex. The proband’s collagen had normal collagen folding and normal prolyl 3-hydroxylation, suggesting that CyPB is not the exclusive peptidyl-prolyl cis–trans isomerase that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in collagen folding, as is currently thought.
PMCID: PMC3156560  PMID: 20089953
18.  Variable Bone Fragility Associated With an Amish COL1A2 Variant and a Knock-in Mouse Model 
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a heritable form of bone fragility typically associated with a dominant COL1A1 or COL1A2 mutation. Variable phenotype for OI patients with identical collagen mutations is well established, but phenotype variability is described using the qualitative Sillence classification. Patterning a new OI mouse model on a specific collagen mutation therefore has been hindered by the absence of an appropriate kindred with extensive quantitative phenotype data. We benefited from the large sibships of the Old Order Amish (OOA) to define a wide range of OI phenotypes in 64 individuals with the identical COL1A2 mutation. Stratification of carrier spine (L1–4) areal bone mineral density (aBMD) Z-scores demonstrated that 73% had moderate to severe disease (less than −2), 23% had mild disease (−1 to −2), and 4% were in the unaffected range (greater than −1). A line of knock-in mice was patterned on the OOA mutation. Bone phenotype was evaluated in four F1 lines of knock-in mice that each shared approximately 50% of their genetic background. Consistent with the human pedigree, these mice had reduced body mass, aBMD, and bone strength. Whole-bone fracture susceptibility was influenced by individual genomic factors that were reflected in size, shape, and possibly bone metabolic regulation. The results indicate that the G610C OI (Amish) knock-in mouse is a novel translational model to identify modifying genes that influence phenotype and for testing potential therapies for OI. © 2010 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
PMCID: PMC3153383  PMID: 19594296
osteogenesis imperfecta; bone; collagen; knock-in; rodent
19.  Prolyl 3-hydroxylase 1 and CRTAP are mutually stabilizing in the endoplasmic reticulum collagen prolyl 3-hydroxylation complex 
Human Molecular Genetics  2009;19(2):223-234.
Null mutations in cartilage-associated protein (CRTAP) and prolyl 3-hydroxylase 1 (P3H1/LEPRE1) cause types VII and VIII OI, respectively, two novel recessive forms of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) with severe to lethal bone dysplasia and overmodification of the type I collagen helical region. CRTAP and P3H1 form a complex with cyclophilin B (CyPB) in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) which 3-hydroxylates the Pro986 residue of α1(I) and α1(II) collagen chains. We investigated the interaction of complex components in fibroblasts from types VII and VIII OI patients. Both CRTAP and P3H1 are absent or reduced on western blots and by immunofluorescence microscopy in cells containing null mutations in either gene. Levels of LEPRE1 or CRTAP transcripts, however, are normal in CRTAP- or LEPRE1-null cells, respectively. Stable transfection of a CRTAP or LEPRE1 expression construct into cells with null mutations for the transfected cDNA restored both CRTAP and P3H1 protein levels. Normalization of collagen helical modification in transfected CRTAP-null cells demonstrated that the restored proteins functioned effectively as a complex. These data indicate that CRTAP and P3H1 are mutually stabilized in the collagen prolyl 3-hydroxylation complex. CyPB levels were unaffected by mutations in either CRTAP or LEPRE1. Proteasomal inhibitors partially rescue P3H1 protein in CRTAP-null cells. In LEPRE1-null cells, secretion of CRTAP is increased compared with control cells and accounts for 15–20% of the decreased CRTAP detected in cells. Thus, mutual stabilization of P3H1 and CRTAP in the ER collagen modification complex is an underlying mechanism for the overlapping phenotype of types VII and VIII OI.
PMCID: PMC2796888  PMID: 19846465
20.  Hammerhead ribozymes selectively suppress mutant type I collagen mRNA in osteogenesis imperfecta fibroblasts 
Nucleic Acids Research  2000;28(20):4013-4020.
Ribozymes are a promising agent for the gene therapy of dominant negative genetic disorders by allele-specific mRNA suppression. To test allele-specific mRNA suppression in cells, we used fibroblasts from a patient with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). These cells contain a mutation in one α1(I) collagen allele which both causes the skeletal disorder and generates a novel ribozyme cleavage site. In a preliminary in vitro assay, ribozymes cleaved mutant RNA substrate whereas normal substrate was left intact. For the studies in cell culture we generated cell lines stably expressing active (AR) and inactive (IR) ribozymes targeted to mutant α1(I) collagen mRNA. Quantitative competitive RT–PCR analyses of type I collagen mRNA, normalized to β-actin expression levels, revealed that the level of mutant α1(I) collagen mRNA was significantly decreased by ∼50% in cells expressing AR. Normal α1(I) collagen mRNA showed no significant reduction when AR or IR was expressed from the pHβAPr-1-neo vector and a small (10–20%) but significant reduction when either ribozyme was expressed from the pCI.neo vector. In clonal lines derived from cells expressing AR the level of ribozyme expression correlated with the extent of reduction in the mutant:normal α1(I) mRNA ratio, ranging from 0.33 to 0.96. Stable expression of active ribozyme did not affect cell viability, as assessed by growth rates. Ribozyme cleavage of mutant mRNA results in a reduction in mutant type I collagen protein, as demonstrated by SDS–urea–PAGE. This is the first report of ribozymes causing specific suppression of an endogenous mutant mRNA in cells derived from a patient with a dominant negative genetic disorder.
PMCID: PMC110781  PMID: 11024182

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