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 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.