Modulation of basal expression of the human alpha1(I) procollagen gene (COL1A1) by tandem NF-1/Sp1 promoter elements in normal human dermal fibroblasts
Carol M. Artlett, Thomas Jefferson University; Shu-Jen Chen, University of Illinois at Chicago; John Varga, University of Illinois at Chicago; and Sergio A. Jimenez, Thomas Jefferson University

DATE: October 1998
SOURCE: Matrix Biology, 17(6):425-434

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We previously demonstrated that a segment of the human α1 type I procollagen gene (COL1A1) promoter encompassing nt −174 to −84 is responsible for the highest transcriptional activity in collagen producing cells in vitro. Here, we identified two almost identical tandem NF-1/Sp1 binding sites located between nt −129 to −107 (distal element) and nt −104 to −77 (proximal element) that are responsible for the basal regulation of COL1A1 transcription in normal human dermal fibroblasts. Transient transfection studies revealed that 8.5% of the basal COL1A1 promoter activity resides within the distal element; however, site-directed mutagenesis within the CCAAT motif in the proximal element resulted in a 98% decrease of the COL1A1 promoter activity. We conclude that each of the NF-1/Sp1 tandem binding sites has a different function. The distal element drives the transcriptional activity of the COL1A1 promoter but is not sufficient for its basal expression, whereas the NF-1 binding site in the proximal element is essential for in vitro COL1A1 gene transcription.