Sp3 represses the Sp1-mediated transactivation of the human COL2A1 gene in primary and de-differentiated chondrocytes

J Biol Chem. 2001 Oct 5;276(40):36881-95. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M105083200. Epub 2001 Jul 10.


Sp1 and Sp3 effects on the transcription of the human alpha1(II) procollagen gene (COL2A1) were investigated in both differentiated and de-differentiated rabbit articular chondrocytes. Transient transfection with constructs of deleted COL2A1 promoter sequences driving the luciferase reporter gene revealed that the region spanning -266 to +121 base pairs showed Sp1-enhancing effects, whatever the differentiation state. In contrast, Sp3 did not influence COL2A1 gene transcription. Concomitant overexpression of the two Sp proteins demonstrated that Sp3 blocked the Sp1 induction of COL2A1 promoter activity. Moreover, inhibition of Sp1/Sp3 binding to their target DNA sequence decreased both COL2A1 gene transcription and Sp1-enhancing effects. DNase I footprinting and gel retardation assays revealed that Sp1 and Sp3 bind specifically to cis-sequences of the COL2A1 gene promoter whereby they exert their transcriptional effects. Sp1 and Sp3 levels were found to be reduced in de-differentiated chondrocytes, as revealed by DNA-binding and immunochemical study. Sp1 specifically activated collagen neosynthesis whatever the differentiation state of chondrocytes, suggesting that this factor exerts a major role in the expression of collagen type II. However, our data indicate that type II collagen-specific expression in chondrocytes depend on both the Sp1/Sp3 ratio and cooperation of Sp1 with other transcription factors, the amounts of which are also modulated by phenotype alteration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Chondrocytes / cytology
  • Chondrocytes / physiology*
  • Collagen Type II / biosynthesis
  • Collagen Type II / chemistry
  • Collagen Type II / genetics*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Gene Silencing / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor / physiology*
  • Sp3 Transcription Factor
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transcriptional Activation*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Collagen Type II
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • SP3 protein, human
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor
  • Sp3 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • Sp3 Transcription Factor
  • DNA