Periodontitis is affecting over half of the adult population, and represents a major public health problem. Previously, we isolated a subset of gingival fibroblasts (GFs) from periodontitis patients, designated as periodontitis- associated fibroblasts (PAFs), which were highly capable of collagen degradation. To elucidate their molecular profiles, GFs isolated form healthy and periodontitis-affected gingival tissues were analyzed by CAGE-seq and integrated with the FANTOM5 atlas. GFs from healthy gingival tissues displayed distinctive patterns of CAGE profiles as compared to fibroblasts from other organ sites and characterized by specific expression of developmentally important transcription factors such as BARX1, PAX9, LHX8, and DLX5. In addition, a novel long non-coding RNA associated with LHX8 was described. Furthermore, we identified DLX5 regulating expression of the long variant of RUNX2 transcript, which was specifically active in GFs but not in their periodontitis-affected counterparts. Knockdown of these factors in GFs resulted in altered expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) components. These results indicate activation of DLX5 and RUNX2 via its distal promoter represents a unique feature of GFs, and is important for ECM regulation. Down- regulation of these transcription factors in PAFs could be associated with their property to degrade collagen, which may impact on the process of periodontitis.