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Borna disease virus phosphoprotein represses p53-mediated transcriptional activity by interference with HMGB1.

Borna disease virus (BDV) is a noncytolytic, neurotropic RNA virus that has a broad host range in warm-blooded animals, probably including humans. Recently, it was demonstrated that a 24-kDa phosphoprotein (P) of BDV directly binds to a multifunctional protein, amphoterin-HMGB1, and inhibits its function in cultured neural cells (W. Kamitani, Y. Shoya, T. Kobayashi, M. Watanabe, B. J. Lee, G. Zhang, K. Tomonaga, and K. Ikuta, J. Virol. 75:8742-8751, 2001). This observation suggested that expression of BDV P may cause deleterious effects in cellular functions by interference with HMGB1. In this study, we further investigated the significance of the binding between P and HMGB1. We demonstrated that P directly binds to the A-box domain on HMGB1, which is also responsible for interaction with a tumor suppression factor, p53. Recent works have demonstrated that binding between HMGB1 and p53 enhances p53-mediated transcriptional activity. Thus, we examined whether BDV P affects the transcriptional activity of p53 by interference with HMGB1. Mammalian two-hybrid analysis revealed that p53 and P competitively interfere with the binding of each protein to HMGB1 in a p53-deficient cell line, NCI-H1299. In addition, P was able to significantly decrease p53- mediated transcriptional activation of the cyclin G promoter. Furthermore, we showed that activation of p21(waf1) expression was repressed in cyclosporine-treated BDV-infected cells, as well as p53-transduced NCI-H1299 cells. These results suggested that BDV P may be a unique inhibitor of p53 activity via binding to HMGB1.[1]


  1. Borna disease virus phosphoprotein represses p53-mediated transcriptional activity by interference with HMGB1. Zhang, G., Kobayashi, T., Kamitani, W., Komoto, S., Yamashita, M., Baba, S., Yanai, H., Ikuta, K., Tomonaga, K. J. Virol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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