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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sp1 and Sp3 transcription factors mediate interleukin-1 beta down-regulation of human type II collagen gene expression in articular chondrocytes.

Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) is a pleiotropic cytokine that was shown to inhibit the biosynthesis of articular cartilage components. Here we demonstrate that IL-1 beta inhibits the production of newly synthesized collagens in proliferating rabbit articular chondrocytes and that this effect is accompanied by a decrease in the steady-state levels of type II collagen mRNA. IL-1 beta down-regulates COL2A1 gene transcription through a -41/-33 bp sequence that binds a multimeric complex including Sp1 and Sp3 transcription factors. Specificity of IL-1 beta effects on COL2A1 promoter activity was demonstrated in experiments in which transfection of a wild type -50/+1 sequence of COL2A1 promoter as a decoy oligonucleotide abolished the IL-1 beta inhibition of a -63/+47 COL2A1-mediated transcription. By contrast, transfection of the related oligonucleotide harboring a targeted mutation in the -41/-33 sequence did not modify the negative effect the cytokine. Because we demonstrated previously that Sp1 was a strong activator of COL2A1 gene expression via the -63/+1 promoter region, whereas Sp3 overexpression blocked Sp1-induced promoter activity and inhibited COL2A1 gene transcription, we conclude that IL-1 beta down-regulation of that gene, as we found previously for transforming growth factor-beta 1, is mediated by an increase in the Sp3/Sp1 ratio. Moreover, IL-1 beta increased steady-state levels of Sp1 and Sp3 mRNAs, whereas it enhanced Sp3 protein expression and inhibited Sp1 protein biosynthesis. Nevertheless, IL-1 beta decreased the binding activity of both Sp1 and Sp3 to the 63-bp short COL2A1 promoter, suggesting that the cytokine exerts a post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism on Sp1 and Sp3 gene expressions. Altogether, these data indicate that modulation of Sp3/Sp1 ratio in cartilage could be a potential target to prevent or limit the tissue degradation.[1]


  1. Sp1 and Sp3 transcription factors mediate interleukin-1 beta down-regulation of human type II collagen gene expression in articular chondrocytes. Chadjichristos, C., Ghayor, C., Kypriotou, M., Martin, G., Renard, E., Ala-Kokko, L., Suske, G., de Crombrugghe, B., Pujol, J.P., Galéra, P. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
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