Clinical and genetic features of 20 Japanese patients with vascular-type Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Y. Shimaoka, T. Kosho, M. Wataya-Kaneda, M. Funakoshi, T. Suzuki, S. Hayashi, Y. Mitsuhashi, T. Isei, Y. Aoki, K. Yamazaki, M. Ono, K. Makino, T. Tanaka, E. Kunii, A. Hatamochi

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22 Citations (Scopus)


SummaryBackground Vascular-type Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) is a severe autosomal dominant inherited disorder resulting from mutations within the α1 type III collagen gene (COL3A1). The majority of published mutations are base changes leading to the substitution of single glycine residues within the triple-helical domain of type III collagen. Although clinical characteristics and mutations in the COL3A1 gene have been analysed for some patients from Europe and America, similar analyses have not yet been performed for Japanese patients with vEDS. Objectives To analyse the genetic and phenotypic findings in Japanese patients with vEDS. Methods We analysed the clinical features of 20 unrelated individuals with vEDS. To quantify type III collagen production, the fibroblasts were cultured with 3H-proline, and the radiolabelled collagenous proteins were analysed using sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorography. Mutations in COL3A1 were detected by sequence analysis of cDNA from patients' fibroblasts and subsequently by a genomic DNA sequence analysis. Results Thin and translucent skin with extensive bruising and hypermobility of the small joints were observed in about 90% of the patients, whereas the prevalence of serious clinical findings such as rupture/dissection/aneurysm of the arteries (30%) or rupture of the gastrointestinal tract (25%) was relatively low. Sequence analyses of the COL3A1 gene demonstrated heterozygous point mutations leading to glycine substitution in only nine patients (45%), while heterozygous splice-site mutations at the junction of the triple-helical exons were observed in the remaining 11 patients (55%). The average type III collagen production level in the cultured dermal fibroblasts was 14·6% of the normal value. The types of complication were not associated with specific mutations in COL3A1. Conclusion The analysis in the present series revealed a low frequency of patients presenting with serious clinical findings such as arterial rupture/arterial dissection/aneurysm and perforation or rupture of the gastrointestinal tract, and revealed a higher prevalence of splice-site mutations at the junction of the triple-helical exons than of glycine substitution mutations in COL3A1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-710
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct


  • COL3A1
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vascular type)
  • clinical findings
  • mutations
  • type III collagen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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