Worm Breeder's Gazette 7(1): 60

These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

Collagen Gene Structure in C. elegans

J.M. Kramer, G.N. Cox, D. Hirsh

Collagen genes have been isolated from the C.  elegans genome by 
hybridization to a chicken collagen cDNA probe that contains the 
highly conserved (GLY-X-Y)n collagen triple helical repeat.  The 
nucleotide sequences of two of the genes have been determined.  In 
contrast to vertebrate collagen genes which are large and contain 
multiple introns, both C.  elegans collagen genes are small and 
contain only a single short intron.  The intron is located near the 5' 
end of one gene and near the 3' end of the other gene.  On Northern 
blots, the cloned C.  elegans genes hybridize predominantly to RNA's 
of approximately 1200 nucleotides which is the size expected for the 
transcripts of these genes.  The predicted amino acid sequences of the 
two genes are 65% homologous, when glycine is excluded.  The genes 
contain several (GLY-X-Y)n coding regions that are flanked by non-
helical coding regions that contain several cysteines and prolines.  
The helical and non-helical coding regions occur at nearly identical 
locations in the two genes and all of the cysteines in one gene can be 
precisely aligned with the cysteines in the other gene.
Bristol and Bergerac show a restriction site polymorphism near one 
of these collagen genes.  This difference has allowed the mapping of 
this gene to chromosome IV.  Two other collagen DNA fragments seen on 
whole genome Southerns but not yet cloned also have been linked to 
chromosome IV using polymorphism mapping.