The molecular basis of classic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: a comprehensive study of biochemical and molecular findings in 48 unrelated patients.

Human mutation

PubMedID: 15580559

Malfait F, Coucke P, Symoens S, Loeys B, Nuytinck L, De Paepe A. The molecular basis of classic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: a comprehensive study of biochemical and molecular findings in 48 unrelated patients. Hum Mutat. 2005;25(1):28-37.
Classic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is characterized by fragile and hyperextensible skin, atrophic scarring, and joint hypermobility. Mutations in the COL5A1 and the COL5A2 gene encoding the alpha1(V) and the alpha2(V) chains, respectively, of type V collagen have been shown to cause the disorder, but it is unknown what proportion of classic EDS patients carries a mutation in these genes. We studied fibroblast cultures from 48 patients with classic EDS by SDS-PAGE for the presence of type V collagen defects. An abnormal collagen pattern was detected in only 2 out of 48 cell lines, making this a poor method for routine diagnostic evaluation. A total of 42 out of 48 (88%) patients were heterozygous for an expressed polymorphic variant in COL5A1. cDNA from 18 (43%) of them expressed only one COL5A1 allele. In 37 patients, the COL5A1/A2 genes were then analyzed by SSCP and conformation sensitive gel electrophoresis (CSGE). A total of 26 patients that were mutation-negative after SSCP/CSGE screening were reanalyzed by dHPLC. In addition, 11 other patients were analyzed by dHPLC only. In total, 17 mutations leading to a premature stop codon and five structural mutations were identified in the COL5A1 and the COL5A2 genes. In three patients with a positive COL5A1 null-allele test, no causal mutation was found. Overall, in 25 out of 48 patients (52%) with classic EDS, an abnormality in type V collagen was confirmed. Variability in severity of the phenotype was observed, but no significant genotype-phenotype correlations emerged. The relatively low mutation detection rate suggests that other genes are involved in classic EDS. We excluded the COL1A1, COL1A2, and DCN gene as major candidate genes for classic EDS, since no causal mutation in these genes was found in a number of patients who tested negative for COL5A1 and COL5A2.