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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e57958. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057958. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Allelic variation of the MMP3 promoter affects transcription activity through the transcription factor C-MYB in human brain arteriovenous malformations.

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State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Fudan-VARI Genetic Epidemiology Center and MOE Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes for Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


MMPs comprise a family of proteolytic enzymes that degrade pericellular substances, which may result in the destabilization of vessels and related to the development of brain arteriovenous malformations (BAVM). MMP3 is a key member of this family, overexpressed in BAVM tissues, and a single nucleotide polymorphism within MMP3, -709A>G (rs522616), is significantly associated with the risk of BAVM. In this study, we aimed to investigate the mechanism through which the polymorphism rs522616 regulates the expression of MMP3. Our results showed that -709A led to a over 2-fold higher transcriptional activity compared with the G allele (P<0.05) and this transcriptional activity can be depressed by co-transfecting cells with competitive DNA fragments containing -709A but not -709G. Bioinformatics analyses suggested that the transcription factor C-MYB might bind to the area around rs522616. Overexpressed C-MYB significantly increased the transcriptional activity of -709A compared with -709G or controls that did not overexpress c-myb (P<0.01) in HEK293 and HUVEC cells. ChIP assays indicated that C-MYB bound to the SNP region in the two cell lines and three BAVM tissue samples. Together, these data indicated that C-MYB can bind to the -709A allele of the MMP3 promoter, activate its transcription and lead to a higher expression of this gene. This novel hypothesis, supported by molecular evidence, explains how this SNP affects MMP3 promoter function and results in a risk of BAVM development.

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