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J Biol Chem. 2001 Aug 10;276(32):29880-90. Epub 2001 Jun 6.

The Y-box binding protein YB-1 suppresses collagen alpha 1(I) gene transcription via an evolutionarily conserved regulatory element in the proximal promoter.

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Department of Medicine, Royal Free and University College Medical School, Sir Jules Thorn Institute for Clinical Sciences, The Middlesex Hospital, Mortimer Street, London W1T 3AA, United Kingdom.


Appropriate expression of collagen type I, a major component of connective tissue matrices, is dependent on tight transcriptional control and a number of trans-activating and repressing factors have been characterized. Here we identify the Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1) as a novel repressor of the collagen type alpha1(I) (COL1A1) gene. Collagen type I mRNA and protein levels decreased upon overexpression of YB-1 by transfection in NRK fibroblasts. The human, rat, and mouse COL1A1 promoter -220/+115 contains three putative Y-boxes, one of these sites, designated collagen Y-box element (CYE), includes a Y-box plus an adjacent 3' inverted repeat. DNase-I footprinting and Southwestern blotting with fibroblast nuclear extract demonstrated binding of several nuclear proteins across the CYE, one of which was identified as YB-1. Recombinant YB-1 bound the CYE sequence in gel shift assays with a preference for single-stranded templates. The entire sequence (-88/-48) was required for high affinity binding. Complex formation of endogenous YB-1 with the CYE was established by supershift studies. COL1A1 promoter-reporter constructs were suppressed up to 80% by cotransfection with YB-1 in a variety of cell types. In addition, CYE conferred YB-1 responsiveness on two heterologous promoters further demonstrating the importance of this repressor region. Mung bean nuclease sensitivity analysis suggested that repression is most likely exerted through changes in DNA conformation.

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