Deutzmann, R. and Fowler, S. and Zhang, X. and Boone, K. and Dexter, S. and Boot-Handford, R. P. and Rachel, Reinhard and Sarras, M. P. (2000) Molecular, biochemical and functional analysis of a novel and developmentally important fibrillar collagen (Hcol-I) in hydra. Development (Cambridge, England) 127 (21), pp. 4669-4680.
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The body wall of hydra (a member of the phylum Cnidaria) is structurally reduced to an epithelial bilayer with an intervening extracellular matrix (ECM). Previous studies have established that cell-ECM interactions are important for morphogenesis and cell differentiation in this simple metazoan. The ECM of hydra is particularly interesting because it represents a primordial form of matrix. Despite progress in our understanding of hydra ECM, we still know little about the nature of hydra collagens. In the current study we provide a molecular, biochemical and functional analysis of a hydra fibrillar collagen that has similarity to vertebrate type I and type II collagens. This fibrillar collagen has been named hydra collagen-I (Hcol-I) because of its structure and because it is the first ECM collagen to be identified in hydra. It represents a novel member of the collagen family. Similar to vertebrate type I and II collagens, Hcol-I contains an N-terminal propeptide-like domain, a triple helical domain containing typical Gly-X-Y repeats and a C-terminal propeptide domain. The overall identity to vertebrate fibrillar collagens is about 30%, while the identity of the C-terminal propeptide domain is 50%. Because the N-terminal propeptide domain is retained after post-translational processing, Hcol-I does not form thick fibers as seen in vertebrates. This was confirmed using transmission electron microscopy to study rotary shadow images of purified Hcol-I. In addition, absence of crucial lysine residues and an overall reduction in proline content, results in reduced crosslinking of fibrils and increased flexibility of the molecule, respectively. These structural changes in Hcol-I help to explain the flexible properties of hydra ECM. Immunocytochemical studies indicate that Hcol-I forms the 10 nm fibrils that comprise the majority of molecules in the central fibrous zone of hydra ECM. The central fibrous zone resides between the two subepithelial zones where hydra laminin is localized. While previous studies have shown that basal lamina components like laminin are expressed by the endoderm, in situ hybridisation studies show that Hcol-I mRNA expression is restricted to the ectoderm. Hcol-I expression is upregulated during head regeneration, and antisense studies using thio-oligonucleotides demonstrated that blocking the translation of Hcol-I leads to a reversible inhibition of head morphogenesis during this regenerative process. Taken in total, the data presented in this study indicate that Hcol-I is required for morphogensis in hydra and represents a novel fibrillar collagen whose structural characteristics help to explain the unique biophysical properties of hydra ECM. Interestingly, the structure of Hcol-I mimics what is seen in Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type VII in humans; an inherited pathological condition that leads to joint and skin abnormalities. Hcol-I therefore illustrates an adaptive trait in which the normal physiological situation in hydra translates into a pathological condition in humans.
|Institutions:||Biology, Preclinical Medicine > Institut für Biochemie, Genetik und Mikrobiologie > Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie > Prof. Dr. Michael Thomm|
|Subjects:||500 Science > 570 Life sciences|
|Created at the University of Regensburg:||Unknown|
|Deposited On:||15 Mar 2010 07:13|
|Last Modified:||15 Mar 2010 07:13|