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Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome (BOS; McKusick 16670) is an autosomal dominant connective-tissue disorder characterized by uneven osseous formation in bone (osteopoikilosis) and fibrous skin papules (dermatofibrosis lenticularis disseminata). We describe two patients in whom BOS occurred in an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. The connective tissue of the skin lesions showed both collagen and elastin abnormalities by electron microscopy. Cultured fibroblasts from both patients produced 2-8 times more tropoelastin than normal skin fibroblasts in the presence of 10% calf serum. Involved skin fibroblasts of one patient produced up to eight times normal levels, whereas apparently uninvolved skin was also elevated more than threefold. In a second patient, whose involvement was nearly complete, elastin production was high in involved areas and less so in completely involved skin. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF beta 1), a powerful stimulus for elastin production, brought about similar relative increases in normal and BOS strains. Basic fibroblast growth factor, an antagonist of TGF beta 1-stimulated elastin production, was able to reduce elastin production in basal and TGF beta 1 stimulated BOS strains. Elastin mRNA levels were elevated in all patient strains, suggesting that Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome may result, at least in part, from abnormal regulation of extracellular matrix metabolism that leads to increased steady-state levels of elastin mRNA and elastin accumulation in the dermis.
Mouse embryo-derived AKR-2B fibroblasts and murine fibrosarcoma cells (the 1591 cell line) were transfected with a murine transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF beta 1) cDNA under the transcriptional control of either the simian virus-40 early promoter or the cytomegalovirus promoter/enhancer. Selected clones secreted 2- to 4-fold more TGF beta-competing activity into their media than the parental cell line or neomycin-transfected controls. The TGF beta 1 released into the cell-conditioned medium was latent. Despite the latency of the overexpressed TGF beta 1, TGF beta 1-transfected cells exhibited phenotypic features of TGF beta 1-treated cells. When confluent, the TGF beta 1-transfected cells had the morphological characteristics of the parental cells that have been treated with active TGF beta 1. AKR-2B cells that expressed higher levels of TGF beta 1 also expressed high levels of c-sis and c-myc mRNAs and decreased TGF beta 2 and TGF beta 3 mRNAs in the same manner as parental AKR-2B cells that had been treated with active TGF beta 1. The transfected 1591 cells that overexpressed TGF beta 1 bound less [125I]TGF beta 1 than did parental 1591 cells, but after a mild acid wash demonstrated an increase in [125I]TGF beta 1 binding. Our results suggest that these TGF beta 1-transfected fibroblast and fibrosarcoma cells have the capacity to activate TGF beta; however, as very little activated TGF beta is detected in the medium, it is hypothesized that these cells activate latent TGF beta 1 and bind the activated TGF beta 1, thus acquiring a phenotype consistent with TGF beta 1-treated cells.
A series of enzymatic steps in the testis lead to the conversion of cholesterol to the male sex steroid hormones, testosterone and 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone. Mutations in any one of these steps are presumed to alter or block the development of the male phenotype. Most of the genes encoding the enzymes involved in this pathway have now been cloned, and mutations within the coding regions of these genes do, in fact, block development of the male phenotype.