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

SMAD3/4-dependent transcriptional activation of the human type VII collagen gene (COL7A1) promoter by transforming growth factor beta.

The human type VII collagen gene (COL7A1) recently has been identified as an immediate-early response gene for transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)/SMAD signaling pathway. In this study, by using MDA-MB-468 SMAD4-/- breast carcinoma cells, we demonstrate that expression of SMAD4 is an absolute requirement for SMAD-mediated promoter activity. We also demonstrate that the SMAD binding sequence (SBS) representing the TGF-beta response element in the region -496/-444 of the COL7A1 promoter functions as an enhancer in the context of a heterologous promoter. Electrophoretic mobility-shift assays with nuclear extracts from COS-1 cells transfected with expression vectors for SMADs 1-5 indicate that SMAD3 forms a complex with a migration similar to that of the endogenous TGF-beta-specific complex observed in fibroblast extracts. Electrophoretic mobility-shift assays using recombinant glutathione S-transferase-SMAD fusion proteins indicate that both SMAD4 and C-terminally truncated SMAD3, but not SMAD2, can bind the COL7A1 SBS. Coexpression of SMAD3 and SMAD4 in COS-1 cells leads to the formation of two complexes: a DNA/protein complex containing SMAD3 alone and another slower-migrating complex containing both SMAD3 and SMAD4, the latter complex not being detected in fibroblasts. Maximal transactivation of COL7A1 SBS-driven promoters in either MDA-MB-468 carcinoma cells or fibroblasts requires concomitant overexpression of SMAD3 and SMAD4. These data may represent the first identification of a functional homomeric SMAD3 complex regulating a human gene.[1]


  1. SMAD3/4-dependent transcriptional activation of the human type VII collagen gene (COL7A1) promoter by transforming growth factor beta. Vindevoghel, L., Lechleider, R.J., Kon, A., de Caestecker, M.P., Uitto, J., Roberts, A.B., Mauviel, A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
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