Targeted disruption of Col11a2 produces a mild cartilage phenotype in transgenic mice: Comparison with the human disorder otospondylomegaepiphyseal dysplasia (OSMED)



Transgenic mice were prepared by homologous recombination with a Col11a2 targeting gene in which an inverted neomycin-resistant gene was inserted between restriction sites in exons 27 and 28. The targeted allele was transcribed in shortened mRNAs, which could be detected by Northern blotting. However, translation of the full-length Col11a2 chain was unable to occur because of the presence of premature termination codons within the inverted neomycin-resistant gene. Analysis of pepsin-resistant collagen chains from rib cartilage of homozygous mice demonstrated the lack of synthesis of intact α2(XI) chains. However, pepsin-resistant collagen chains of either α1(XI) or α1(V) were still detected on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Therefore, α2(XI) chains are not essential for the assembly of some molecular forms of triple-helical type V/XI collagen. The phenotype was milder than in the cho/cho mouse in which, as the result of mutation, translation of the full-length α1(XI) chain fails to occur and the mice die at birth (Li et al., 1995). Homozygous mice without expression of an α2(XI) chain had a smaller body size, receding snouts, and deafness. Nasal bones in the homozygous transgenic mice were specifically shorter and dimpled on their external surfaces. Chondrocytes in growth plates of all long bones were markedly disorganized and failed to align in columns. Analysis of growth plates from transgenic mice by in situ hybridization showed expression of α1(II) and α1(XI) but not of α1(I) or α1(V) which, in contrast, were expressed in the developing bone and in the bone collar. Expression of α1(X) specifically in the hypertrophic cartilage was observed in normal and transgenic mice. No obvious osteoarthritis was observed throughout the life of homozygous mice up to 1 year of age, although minor morphologic anomalies in the articular cartilages were discernible. The mild phenotype is consistent with similar mutations in the COL11A2 gene seen in patients with nonocular Stickler syndrome and some patients with otospondylomegaepiphyseal dysplasia (OSMED), as well as in patients with a nonsyndromic form of deafness called DFNA13. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.