Two subclasses of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus lytic cycle promoters distinguished by open reading frame 50 mutant proteins that are deficient in binding to DNA

Pey Jium Chang, Duane Shedd, George Miller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

A transcriptional activator encoded in open reading frame 50 (ORF50) of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) genome initiates the viral lytic cycle. Here we classify four lytic cycle genes on the basis of several characteristics of the ORF50 response elements (ORF50 REs) in their promoters: nucleotide sequence homology, the capacity to bind ORF50 protein in vitro, the ability to bind the cellular protein RBP-Jκ in vitro, and the capacity to confer activation by DNA binding-deficient mutants of ORF50 protein. ORF50 expressed in human cells binds the promoters of PAN and K12 but does not bind ORF57 or vMIP-1 promoters. Conversely, the RBP-JK protein binds ORF57 and vMIP-1 but not PAN or K12 promoters. DNA binding-deficient mutants of ORF50 protein differentiate these two subclasses of promoters in reporter assays; the PAN and K12 promoters cannot be activated, while the ORF57 and vMIP-1 promoters are responsive. Although DNA binding-deficient mutants of ORF50 protein are defective in activating direct targets, they are nonetheless capable of activating the lytic cascade of KSHV. Significantly, DNA binding-deficient ORF50 mutants are competent to autostimulate expression of endogenous ORF50 and to autoactivate ORF50 promoter reporters. The experiments show that ORF50 protein activates downstream targets by at least two distinct mechanisms: one involves direct binding of ORF50 REs in promoter DNA; the other mechanism employs interactions with the RBP-JK cellular protein bound to promoter DNA in the region of the ORF50 RE. The DNA binding-deficient mutants allow classification of ORFSO-responsive genes and will facilitate study of the several distinct mechanisms of activation of KSHV lytic cycle genes that are under the control of ORF50 protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8750-8763
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume79
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - 07 2005
Externally publishedYes

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