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Virology. 1999 Apr 25;257(1):84-94.

Transcriptional analysis of human herpesvirus-8 open reading frames 71, 72, 73, K14, and 74 in a primary effusion lymphoma cell line.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Medical School, The University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG, United Kingdom.


We examined the transcription and splicing of open reading frames (ORFs) 71 (K13)-74 of human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) in the primary effusion lymphoma cell line BCP-1 (latently infected with HHV-8), using a combination of NORTHERN blot analysis, RT-PCR, and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (PCR-RACE). The three genes encoded by ORFs 71, 72, and 73 [viral FLICE inhibitory protein (v-FLIP), v-cyclin, latent nuclear antigen (LNA)] are transcribed from a common transcription start site in BCP-1 cells uninduced (latent) or induced (lytic) with n-butyrate. The resulting transcript is spliced to yield a 5.32-kb message encoding LNA, v-cyclin, and v-FLIP and a 1.7-kb bicistronic message encoding v-cyclin and v-FLIP. The two genes encoded by ORFs K14 and 74 (v-Ox2 and v-GPCR) are transcribed as a 2.7-kb bicistronic transcript that is induced with n-butyrate. A small (149-bp) intron is spliced from the intragenic noncoding region immediately before the v-GPCR initiating codon. Examination of sequence elements in the promoter of the LNA/v-cyclin/v-FLIP operon revealed TAATGARAT and Octamer binding motifs characteristic of herpesvirus immediate-early genes. Sequence elements in the v-Ox2/v-GPCR promoter included AP1 and Zta-like (EBV Zebra transactivator) binding motifs consistent with the n-butyrate induction of this operon.

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