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J Biol Chem. 2003 Apr 11;278(15):13008-15. Epub 2003 Feb 5.

Connective tissue growth factor gene regulation. Requirements for its induction by transforming growth factor-beta 2 in fibroblasts.

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  • 1Fibrogen, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.

Abstract

In skin, the profibrotic protein connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is not normally expressed. However, when skin cells are exposed to transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), CTGF is induced in fibroblasts but not in epithelial cells. We have begun to investigate the requirements for the fibroblast-selective induction of CTGF by TGF-beta. Previously we found that this response was Smad-dependent. Now we show that protein kinase C and Ras/MEK/ERK are necessary for the TGF-beta induction of the CTGF promoter but not of a generic Smad-responsive promoter (SBE-lux). Induction of the CTGF promoter is antagonized by c-Jun or by MEKK1, suggesting that a proper balance between the Ras/MEK/ERK and JNK MAPK cascades is necessary for TGF-beta induction of CTGF. We identify the minimal CTGF promoter element necessary and sufficient to confer TGF-beta responsiveness to a heterologous promoter and show that a tandem repeat of a consensus transcription enhancer factor binding element, 5'-GAGGAATGG-3', is necessary for this induction. This element has not been previously shown to play a role in TGF-beta induction of gene expression in fibroblasts. Gel shift analysis shows that this sequence binds nuclear factors that are greatly enriched in fibroblasts relative to epithelial cells. Thus Smads, Ras/MEK/ERK, protein kinase C, and fibroblast-enriched factors that bind GAGGAATGG act together to drive the TGF-beta-mediated induction of CTGF in fibroblasts.

PMID:
12571253
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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