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J Biol Chem. 2001 Mar 9;276(10):7549-58. Epub 2000 Dec 12.

Identification of novel, functional genetic variants in the human matrix metalloproteinase-2 gene: role of Sp1 in allele-specific transcriptional regulation.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine and Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.


Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) is an enzyme with proteolytic activity against matrix and nonmatrix proteins, particularly basement membrane constituents. Thus, any naturally occurring genetic variants that directly affect gene expression and/or protein function would be expected to impact on progression of pathological processes involving tissue remodeling. We scanned a 2-kilobase pair promoter region and all 13 exons of the human MMP-2 gene, from a panel of 32 individuals, and we identified the position, nature, and relative allele frequencies of 15 variant loci as follows: 6 in the promoter, 1 in the 5'-untranslated region, 6 in the coding region, 1 in intronic sequence, and 1 in the 3'-untranslated region. The majority of coding region polymorphisms resulted in synonymous substitutions, whereas three promoter variants (at -1306, -790, and +220) mapped onto cis-acting elements. We functionally characterized all promoter variants by transient transfection experiments with 293, RAW264.7, and A10 cells. The common C --> T transition at -1306 (allele frequency 0.26), which disrupts an Sp1-type promoter site (CCACC box), displayed a strikingly lower promoter activity with the T allele. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays confirmed that these differences in allelic expression were attributable to abolition of Sp1 binding. These data suggest that this common functional genetic variant influences MMP-2 gene transcription in an allele-specific manner and is therefore an important candidate to test for association in a wide spectrum of pathologies for which a role for MMP-2 is implicated, including atherogenesis and tumor invasion and metastasis.

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