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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

LMP-1's transmembrane domains encode multiple functions required for LMP-1's efficient signaling.

The latent membrane protein-1 (LMP-1) of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) contributes to the proliferation of infected B lymphocytes by signaling through its binding to cellular signaling molecules. It apparently mimics members of the tumor necrosis factor receptor family, in particular, CD40, by binding a similar set of cellular molecules as does CD40. LMP-1 differs dramatically in its structure from CD40. LMP-1 has six membrane-spanning domains as opposed to CD40's one. LMP-1 also differs from CD40 in its apparent independence of a ligand for its signaling. We have examined the role of LMP-1's membrane-spanning domains in its signaling. Their substitution with six membrane-spanning domains from the LMP-2A protein of EBV yields a derivative which neither coimmunoprecipitates with LMP-1 nor signals to increase the activity of NF-kappaB as does wild-type LMP-1. These observations indicate that LMP-1 has specific sequences in its membrane-spanning domains required for these activities. LMP-1's first and sixth membrane-spanning domains have multiple leucine residues potentially similar to leucine-heptad motifs that can mediate protein-protein interactions in membranes (Gurezka et al., J. Biol. Chem. 274:9265-9270, 1999). Substitution of seven leucines in LMP-1's sixth membrane-spanning domain has no effect on its function, whereas similar substitutions in its first membrane-spanning domain yielded a derivative which aggregates as does wild-type LMP-1 but has only 3% of wild-type's ability to signal through NF-kappaB. Importantly, this derivative complements a mutant of LMP-1 with wild-type membrane-spanning domains but no carboxy-terminal signaling domain. These findings together indicate that the membrane-spanning domains of LMP-1 contribute multiple functions to its signaling.[1]


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