Collagen, type VI, alpha 3
This gene encodes the alpha 3 chain, one of the three alpha chains of type VI collagen, a beaded filament collagen found in most connective tissues. The alpha 3 chain of type VI collagen is much larger than the alpha 1 and 2 chains. This difference in size is largely due to an increase in the number of subdomains, similar to von Willebrand Factor type A domains, found in the amino terminal globular domain of all the alpha chains. These domains have been shown to bind extracellular matrix proteins, an interaction that explains the importance of this collagen in organizing matrix components. Mutations in the type VI collagen genes are associated with Bethlem myopathy. In addition to the full length transcript, four transcript variants have been identified that encode proteins with N-terminal globular domains of varying sizes.