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J Virol. 2007 Apr;81(8):4264-71. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

The adenovirus E4 ORF3 protein binds and reorganizes the TRIM family member transcriptional intermediary factor 1 alpha.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, School of Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.


One of the most interesting functions attributed to the adenovirus early region 4 open reading frame 3 (E4 ORF3) protein is its reorganization of promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein nuclear bodies. These normally punctate structures are reorganized by E4 ORF3 into tracks that eventually surround viral replication centers. PML rearrangement is an evolutionarily conserved function of E4 ORF3, yet its cause and functional relevance remain mysteries. The E4 ORF3 protein coimmunoprecipitates with the PML protein, yet E4 ORF3 still forms tracks in cells that lack PML. The PML protein is a member of a larger protein family termed tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins. TRIM proteins contain a tripartite domain structure in proximity to their N termini that consists of a RING finger domain, followed by one or two B box domains and a C-terminal coiled-coil domain (collectively termed the RBCC domain). The order and spacing of these domains are evolutionarily conserved and thought to mediate protein-protein interactions and other functions. We implemented a proteomic approach to isolate cellular proteins that bind to E4 ORF3. We identified a novel interaction between E4 ORF3 and another TRIM family member, transcriptional intermediary factor 1 alpha (TIF1alpha). TIF1alpha functions by recruiting coactivators and/or corepressors to modulate transcription. The interaction between E4 ORF3 and TIF1alpha was validated by coimmunoprecipitation and binding of recombinant proteins. Indirect immunofluorescence assays demonstrated that TIF1alpha is reorganized into track structures that contain PML upon E4 ORF3 expression. The RBCC domain of TIF1alpha is sufficient for E4 ORF3-induced rearrangement, and TIF1alpha reorganization is conserved across adenovirus serotypes.

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