Stromelysin 1 (MMP-3) is a matrix metalloproteinase with broad substrate specificity that has been linked to joint and tissue destruction associated with chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and periodontitis. Transcription of the stromelysin gene is induced by inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor as well as a number of other cytokines and mitogens, but the exact mechanisms involved in its regulation are not fully understood. To identify transcription factors and cis elements potentially involved in the IL-1 induction of stromelysin, the human stromelysin 5'-flanking region was screened by electrophoretic mobility shift assay for IL-1-induced DNA- binding complexes in human synovial and gingival fibroblasts. Here we report the identification of such a complex binding to the region -1614 to -1595 (5'-G(T)TTTTTCCCCCCATCAAAG-3') termed the stromelysin IL-1 responsive element site. Binding to this site is also induced by tumor necrosis factor but not by platelet-derived growth factor or interleukin 4. UV cross-linking demonstrates that there are at least two DNA-binding proteins involved, of approximately 48 and 52 kDa. Transient transfection experiments in human foreskin fibroblasts demonstrate that proteins binding to this site act as a repressor of IL-1-induced expression of the stromelysin gene.
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