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Restricted expression of Mov13 mutant alpha 1(I) collagen gene in osteoblasts and its consequences for bone development.

Kratochwil K., Ghaffari-Tabrizi N., Holzinger I., Harbers K.

Cell type-specific differences in the transcriptional control of the mouse gene coding for the alpha 1 chain of collagen type I (Col1a1) have been revealed previously with the help of the Mov13 mouse strain which carries a retroviral insert in the first intron of the gene. Transcription of this mutant Col1a1 allele is completely blocked in all mesodermal cell types tested so far, with the exception of the odontoblast where it is expressed at an apparently normal rate (Kratochwil et al. [1989] Cell 57:807-816). To define the tissue specificity of the mutant allele more precisely, we have now studied its expression in osteoblasts, another skeletogenic cell type which, like odontoblasts, produces high amounts of collagen I. Evidence for transcription of the Mov13 allele was obtained by in situ hybridization in homozygous (M/M) and heterozygous (M/+) bone tissue, in grafts as well as in vivo. The presence of mouse collagen I and the development of bone tissue were demonstrated in M/M skeletal elements grown on the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). Further support for expression of the mutant gene was obtained from two 16 day M/M fetuses in vivo. Bone tissue of diverse embryological origin (vertebrae and ribs of somitic origin, long bones derived from lateral plate, calvariae from head paraxial mesoderm, and mandibulae from head neural crest) expresses the mutant allele. However, in situ hybridization experiments indicate that only a subpopulation of osteoblasts is capable of transcribing it at a high rate, resulting in severe impairment of bone development in grafts and in vivo. Therefore, osteoblasts, in comparison to odontoblasts and fibroblast-like cells, assume an intermediate position with respect to transcription of the Mov13 allele. We suggest that this diversity in the utilization of the mutant collagen gene reflects cell type-specific differences in the transcriptional regulation of the wild type (wt) Col1a1 gene.

Dev. Dyn. 198:273-283(1993) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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