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

Transcription of the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I promoter by an alpha-amanitin-resistant polymerase.

The human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) promoter contains the structural features of a typical RNA polymerase II ( pol II) template. The promoter contains a TATA box 30 bp upstream of the transcription initiation site and binding sites for several pol II transcription factors, and long poly(A)+ RNA is synthesized from the integrated HTLV-I proviral DNA in vivo. Consistent with these characteristics, HTLV-I transcription activity was reconstituted in vitro by using TATA-binding protein, TFIIA, recombinant TFIIB, TFIIE, and TFIIF, TFIIH, and pol II. Transcription of the HTLV-I promoter in the reconstituted system requires RNA pol II. In HeLa whole cell extracts, however, the HTLV-I long terminal repeat also contains an overlapping transcription unit (OTU). HTLV-I OTU transcription is initiated at the same nucleotide site as the RNA isolated from the HTLV-I-infected cell line MT-2 but was not inhibited by the presence of alpha-amanitin at concentrations which inhibited the adenovirus major late pol II promoter (6 micrograms/ml). HTLV-I transcription was inhibited when higher concentrations of alpha-amanitin (60 micrograms/ml) were used, in the range of a typical pol III promoter (VA-I). Neutralization and depletion experiments with three distinct pol II antibodies demonstrate that RNA pol II is not required for HTLV-I OTU transcription. Antibodies to basal transcription factors TATA-binding protein and TFIIB, but not TFIIIC, inhibited HTLV-I OTU transcription. These observations suggest that the HTLV-I long terminal repeat contains overlapping promoters, a typical pol II promoter and a unique pol III promoter which requires a distinct set of transcription factors.[1]


  1. Transcription of the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I promoter by an alpha-amanitin-resistant polymerase. Piras, G., Kashanchi, F., Radonovich, M.F., Duvall, J.F., Brady, J.N. J. Virol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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