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

The promoter of the late p10 gene in the insect nuclear polyhedrosis virus Autographa californica: activation by viral gene products and sensitivity to DNA methylation.

In lepidopteran insect cells infected with the baculovirus Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcNPV), two major late viral gene products are expressed: the polyhedrin, a 28 000 mol. wt. protein which makes up the mass of the nuclear inclusion bodies, and a 10 000 mol. wt. protein ( p10) whose function is unknown. The nucleotide sequences of these strong promoters conform to those of other eukaryotic promoters and are rich in AT base pairs. We used the pSVO-CAT construct containing the prokaryotic gene chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) to study the function of the p10 gene promoter in insect and mammalian cells. Upon transfection of the pAcp10-CAT construct, which contained 402 bp of the p10 gene of AcNPV DNA in the HindIII site of pSVO-CAT, CAT activity was determined. The p10 gene promoter was inactive in human HeLa cells and in uninfected Spodoptera frugiperda insect cells. The same promoter was active, however, in AcNPV-infected S. frugiperda cells and exhibited optimal activity when cells were transfected 18 h after infection with the insect virus. This finding demonstrated directly that the p10 gene promoter required other viral gene products for its activity in insect cells. The nature of these products was unknown. The p10 gene promoter sequence contained one 5'-CCGG-3' site 40 bp upstream from the cap site of the gene and two such sites 178 and 192 bp downstream from the ATG initiation codon of the gene. Since Drosophila DNA or S. frugiperda DNA contained no 5-methylcytosine or extremely small amounts of it, we were interested in determining the effect of site-specific methylations on the p10 gene insect virus promoter. Methylation at the 5'-CCGG-3' sites led to a block of this promoter.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


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