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1.  Overexpression of Transcription Factor Sp1 Leads to Gene Expression Perturbations and Cell Cycle Inhibition 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(9):e7035.
The ubiquitous transcription factor Sp1 regulates the expression of a vast number of genes involved in many cellular functions ranging from differentiation to proliferation and apoptosis. Sp1 expression levels show a dramatic increase during transformation and this could play a critical role for tumour development or maintenance. Although Sp1 deregulation might be beneficial for tumour cells, its overexpression induces apoptosis of untransformed cells. Here we further characterised the functional and transcriptional responses of untransformed cells following Sp1 overexpression.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We made use of wild-type and DNA-binding-deficient Sp1 to demonstrate that the induction of apoptosis by Sp1 is dependent on its capacity to bind DNA. Genome-wide expression profiling identified genes involved in cancer, cell death and cell cycle as being enriched among differentially expressed genes following Sp1 overexpression. In silico search to determine the presence of Sp1 binding sites in the promoter region of modulated genes was conducted. Genes that contained Sp1 binding sites in their promoters were enriched among down-regulated genes. The endogenous sp1 gene is one of the most down-regulated suggesting a negative feedback loop induced by overexpressed Sp1. In contrast, genes containing Sp1 binding sites in their promoters were not enriched among up-regulated genes. These results suggest that the transcriptional response involves both direct Sp1-driven transcription and indirect mechanisms. Finally, we show that Sp1 overexpression led to a modified expression of G1/S transition regulatory genes such as the down-regulation of cyclin D2 and the up-regulation of cyclin G2 and cdkn2c/p18 expression. The biological significance of these modifications was confirmed by showing that the cells accumulated in the G1 phase of the cell cycle before the onset of apoptosis.
This study shows that the binding to DNA of overexpressed Sp1 induces an inhibition of cell cycle progression that precedes apoptosis and a transcriptional response targeting genes containing Sp1 binding sites in their promoter or not suggesting both direct Sp1-driven transcription and indirect mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC2737146  PMID: 19753117
2.  InterPro: the integrative protein signature database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;37(Database issue):D211-D215.
The InterPro database ( integrates together predictive models or ‘signatures’ representing protein domains, families and functional sites from multiple, diverse source databases: Gene3D, PANTHER, Pfam, PIRSF, PRINTS, ProDom, PROSITE, SMART, SUPERFAMILY and TIGRFAMs. Integration is performed manually and approximately half of the total ∼58 000 signatures available in the source databases belong to an InterPro entry. Recently, we have started to also display the remaining un-integrated signatures via our web interface. Other developments include the provision of non-signature data, such as structural data, in new XML files on our FTP site, as well as the inclusion of matchless UniProtKB proteins in the existing match XML files. The web interface has been extended and now links out to the ADAN predicted protein–protein interaction database and the SPICE and Dasty viewers. The latest public release (v18.0) covers 79.8% of UniProtKB (v14.1) and consists of 16 549 entries. InterPro data may be accessed either via the web address above, via web services, by downloading files by anonymous FTP or by using the InterProScan search software (
PMCID: PMC2686546  PMID: 18940856

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