• T-box factors;
  • Tbx2;
  • α(2)1 collagen gene


The T-box gene family encodes highly conserved transcription factors that play important roles in embryonic development and have been implicated in carcinogenesis. One member of the family, Tbx2, is generally regarded as a transcriptional repressor but appears to be capable of functioning as an activator depending on the cellular context. This study shows that Tbx2 is expressed in normal human fibroblasts but is drastically reduced in several transformed fibroblast cell lines. This pattern of Tbx2 expression correlated with that observed for the human α2(1) collagen gene (COL1A2). Interestingly, stable expression of transfected Tbx2 in transformed fibroblast cell lines further reduces expression of the human endogenous COL1A2 gene. This ability of Tbx2 to repress the human COL1A2 gene was confirmed in luciferase reporter assays and shown to be independent of the consensus T-box binding element. J. Cell. Biochem. 102: 618–625, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.