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

Differential cellular requirements for activation of herpes simplex virus type 1 early (tk) and late (gC) promoters by ICP4.

The herpes simplex virus type 1 immediate-early protein, ICP4, activates the transcription of viral early and late genes and is essential for viral growth. It has been shown to bind DNA and interact with components of the general transcription machinery to activate or repress viral transcription, depending upon promoter context. Since early and late gene promoters have different architectures and cellular metabolism may be very different at early and late times after infection, the cellular requirements for ICP4-mediated activation of early and late genes may differ. This hypothesis was tested using tk and gC as representative early and late promoters, respectively. Nuclear extracts and phosphocellulose column fractions derived from nuclear extracts were able to reconstitute basal and ICP4-activated transcription of both promoters in vitro. When examining the contribution of the general transcription factors on the ability of ICP4 to activate transcription, the fraction containing the general transcription factor TFIIA was not essential for ICP4 activation of the gC promoter, but it was required for efficient activation of the tk promoter. The addition of recombinant TFIIA restored the ability of ICP4 to efficiently activate the tk promoter, but it had no net effect on activation of the gC promoter. The dispensability of TFIIA for ICP4 activation of the gC promoter required an intact INR element. In addition, microarray and Northern blot analysis indicated that TFIIA abundance may be reduced at late times of infection. This decrease in TFIIA expression during infection and its dispensability for activation of late but not early genes suggest one of possibly many mechanisms for the transition from viral early to late gene expression.[1]

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