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J Biol Chem. 2010 Apr 9;285(15):11638-51. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.045963. Epub 2010 Feb 8.

Transforming growth factor-β1 induces expression of human coagulation factor XII via Smad3 and JNK signaling pathways in human lung fibroblasts.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Justus-Liebig University, 35392 Giessen, Germany.


Coagulation factor XII (FXII) is a liver-derived serine protease involved in fibrinolysis, coagulation, and inflammation. The regulation of FXII expression is largely unknown. Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) is a multifunctional cytokine that has been linked to several pathological processes, including tissue fibrosis by modulating procoagulant and fibrinolytic activities. This study investigated whether TGF-beta1 may regulate FXII expression in human lung fibroblasts. Treatment of human lung fibroblasts with TGF-beta1 resulted in a time-dependent increase in FXII production, activation of p44/42, p38, JNK, and Akt, and phosphorylation and translocation into the nucleus of Smad3. However, TGF-beta1-induced FXII expression was repressed only by the JNK inhibitor and JNK and Smad3 antisense oligonucleotides but not by MEK, p38, or phosphoinositide 3-kinase blockers. JNK inhibition had no effect on TGF-beta1-induced Smad3 phosphorylation, association with Smad4, and its translocation into the nucleus but strongly suppressed Smad3-DNA complex formation. FXII promoter analysis revealed that the -299/+1 region was sufficient for TGF-beta1 to induce FXII expression. Sequence analysis of this region detected a potential Smad-binding element at position -272/-269 (SBE-(-272/-269)). Chromatin immunoprecipitation and streptavidin pulldown assays demonstrated TGF-beta1-dependent Smad3 binding to SBE-(-272/-269). Mutation or deletion of SBE-(-272/-269) substantially reduced TGF-beta1-mediated activation of the FXII promoter. Clinical relevance was demonstrated by elevated FXII levels and its co-localization with fibroblasts in the lungs of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Our results show that JNK/Smad3 pathway plays a critical role in TGF-beta1-induced FXII expression in human lung fibroblasts and implicate its possible involvement in pathological conditions characterized by elevated TGF-beta1 levels.

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