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

Alteration of specific amino acid residues in the acidic domain I of VSV phosphoprotein (P) converts a GAL4-P(I) hybrid into a transcriptional activator.

As part of a study of transcriptional regulation by viral proteins, we examined whether an acidic region from a regulatory protein of an RNA virus could function as a trans-activator. The NH2-terminal highly acidic domain I of the phosphoprotein (P) of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) was fused to the DNA-binding domain of the yeast trans-activator, GAL4. In transient transfection assays, the resulting chimeric protein failed to activate transcription of a reporter CAT gene. However, mutation of basic amino acid residues located at positions 6 and 8 or the alteration of eight amino acids within the acidic domain to eight different amino acids converted the chimeric protein into a transcriptional activator comparable to wild-type GAL4. When subjected to SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, the P proteins containing trans-activation-positive mutations in domain I showed an altered mobility, suggesting that these mutations may have caused a conformational change that is critical for trans-activation. Since the acidity of P domain I is not sufficient to activate transcription, additional features of this region must play an important role in GAL4-mediated trans-activation. None of the trans-activation-positive mutants supported VSV RNA transcription in vitro. These results suggest that the amino acid residues within P domain I that can be made to function in the trans-activation of DNA-dependent RNA transcription are distinct from those involved in VSV RNA-dependent RNA transcription.[1]


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