Development and characterization of a recombinant truncated type VII collagen 'minigene'. Implication for gene therapy of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa

M. Chen, E. A. O'Toole, M. Muellenhoff, E. Medina, N. Kasahara, D. T. Woodley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) is an inherited mechano-bullous disorder of skin caused by mutations in the type VII collagen gene. The lack of therapy for DEB provides an impetus to develop gene therapy strategies. However, the full-length 9-kilobase type VII collagen cDNA exceeds the cloning capacity of current viral delivery vectors. In this study, we produced a recombinant type VII minicollagen containing the intact noncollagenous domains, NC1 and NC2, and part of the central collagenous domain using stably transfected human 293 cell clones and purified large quantities of the recombinant minicollagen VII from culture media. Minicollagen VII was secreted as correctly-folded, disulfide-bonded, helical trimers resistant to protease degradation. Purified minicollagen VII bound to fibronectin, laminin-5, type I collagen, and type IV collagen. Furthermore, retroviral-mediated transduction of the minigene construct into DEB keratinocytes (in which type VII collagen was absent) resulted in persistent synthesis and secretion of a 230-kDa recombinant minicollagen VII. In comparison with parent DEB keratinocytes, the gene-corrected DEB keratinocytes demonstrated enhanced cell-substratum adhesion, increased proliferative potential, and reduced cell motility, features that reversed the DEB phenotype toward normal. We conclude that the use of the minicollagen VII may provide a strategy to correct the cellular manifestations of gene defects in DEB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24429-24435
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 11 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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