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Orthod Craniofac Res. 2009 Aug;12(3):178-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-6343.2009.01451.x.

Induction of MMP-1 (collagenase-1) by relaxin in fibrocartilaginous cells requires both the AP-1 and PEA-3 promoter sites.

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Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, The University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078, USA.


OBJECTIVES - Relaxin induces the matrix metalloproteinase MMP-1 (collagenase-1) in TMJ fibrocartilaginous cells, and this response is potentiated by beta-estradiol. We identified the MMP-1 promoter sites and transcription factors that are induced by relaxin with or without beta-estradiol in fibrocartilaginous cells. MATERIAL AND METHODS - Early passage cells were transiently transfected with the pBLCAT2 plasmid containing specific segments of the human MMP-1 promoter regulating the chloramphenicol acyl transferase (CAT) gene and co-transfected with a plasmid containing the beta-galactosidase gene. The cells were cultured in serum-free medium alone or medium containing 0.1 ng/ml relaxin, or 20 ng/ml beta-estradiol or both hormones, and lysates assayed for CAT and beta-galactosidase activity. RESULTS - Cells transfected with the -1200/-42 or -139/-42 bp MMP-1 promoter-reporter constructs showed 1.5-fold and 3-fold induction of CAT by relaxin in the absence or presence of beta-estradiol, respectively. Relaxin failed to induce CAT in the absence of the -137/-69 region of the MMP-1 promoter, which contains the AP-1-and PEA3-binding sites. Using wild type or mutated minimal AP-1 and PEA-3 promoters we found that both these promoter sites are essential for the induction of MMP-1 by relaxin. The mRNAs for transcription factors c-fos and c-jun, which together form the AP-1 heterodimer, and Ets-1 that modulates the PEA-3 site, were upregulated by relaxin or beta-estradiol plus relaxin. CONCLUSION - These studies show that both the AP-1 and PEA-3 promoter sites are necessary for the induction of MMP-1 by relaxin in fibrocartilaginous cells.

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