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Oncogene. 2004 Mar 4;23(9):1656-67.

Tenascin-C upregulation by transforming growth factor-beta in human dermal fibroblasts involves Smad3, Sp1, and Ets1.

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Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.


In cultured human dermal fibroblasts, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta induced the mRNA expression of tenascin-C (TN-C). The molecular mechanism(s) underlying this process is not presently understood. In this study, we performed serial 5' deletion and a transient transfection analysis to define a region in the TN-C promoter mediating the inducible responsiveness to TGF-beta. This region contains an atypical nucleotide recognition element for the Smad family of transcriptional regulators. A DNA affinity precipitation assay revealed that Smad2/Smad3 bound to this site in a transient and specific manner. Overexpression of Smad3 or Smad4 activated the TN-C promoter activity and superinduced the TN-C promoter activity stimulated by TGF-beta. Moreover, simultaneous cotransfection of Smad3 and Smad4 activated the TN-C promoter activity in a synergistic manner. Mutation of the Smad-binding sites, the Ets-binding sites, or Sp1/3-binding sites in the TN-C promoter abrogated the TGF-beta/Smad-inducible promoter activity. Immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that Smad3, Sp1, and Ets1 form a transcriptionally active complex. Furthermore, the interaction between Smads and CBP/p300 in TGF-beta signaling was confirmed. These findings demonstrate the existence of a novel, functional binding element in the proximal region of the TN-C promoter mediating responsiveness to TGF-beta involving Smad3/4, Sp1, Ets1, and CBP/p300.

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