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Virology. 1997 Oct 27;237(2):404-13.

p53/E1b58kDa complex regulates adenovirus replication.

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  • 1Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


We have explored a role for the adenovirus (Ad5) E1b58kDa/p53 protein complex in adenovirus replication. This was done by using virus mutants containing different defects in the E1b58kDa gene and cell lines that express either a wild-type p53 protein or a mutant p53 protein. We find that infection of wild-type p53-containing cells with wild-type Ad5 causes a shutoff of p53 and alpha-actin protein synthesis by distinct mechanisms, but neither occurs in mutant p53 cells. Our data also indicate that the shutoff is dependent on formation of the p53/E1b complex and may also involve another virus protein, E4ORF6. Following from these observations we asked whether failure to form the complex resulted in impaired adenovirus replication. Our experiments showed that neither wild-type Ad5 nor the E1b mutant dl338 could replicate in cells expressing a mutant p53 protein, but that wild-type adenovirus replicated well in wild-type p53-expressing cells. Collectively, our data suggest that the interaction between p53 and the E1b58kDa protein is necessary for efficient adenovirus replication. This is the first time such a direct link between the complex and virus replication has been demonstrated. These data raise serious questions about the usefulness of E1b-defective viruses in tumor therapy.

Copyright 1997 Academic Press.

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