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J Gen Virol. 1999 Dec;80 ( Pt 12):3073-81.

Transcriptional activation of human TR3/nur77 gene expression by human T-lymphotropic virus type I Tax protein through two AP-1-like elements.

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Department of Virus and Cancer, Danish Cancer Society, Gustav Wieds Vej 10, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


The Tax transactivator of human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) is capable of inducing expression of the human immediate-early TR3/nur77 gene. Deletion and mutation analyses of the TR3/nur77 promoter demonstrated that multiple transcription elements in the 121 bp sequence proximal to the transcription start site are required for full Tax transactivation. Mutations of CArG-like, Ets and RCE motifs in this region severely decreased Tax transactivation. Mutation of either of the two identical AP-1-like elements (NAP 1 and 2) immediately upstream of the TATA box caused around 80% reduction of Tax transactivation. Mutation of both NAP elements blocked Tax-mediated activation totally. These two NAP elements could confer Tax-responsiveness on a heterologous basal promoter. Furthermore, the specific NAP-binding complex was only observed in HTLV-I-infected cells. Formation of this specific NAP-binding complex was correlated directly with Tax expression, as demonstrated in JPX-9 cells upon induction of Tax expression. The specific NAP binding could be competed for by consensus AP-1 and CREB elements, indicating that the NAP-binding proteins probably belong to the AP-1 and CREB/ATF transcription factor families. Supershift analysis with antibodies to both the AP-1 and CREB/ATF transcription factor families revealed that only anti-JunD antibody could partially shift this NAP-binding complex, indicating that JunD is a component of the NAP complex. This work suggests that JunD is involved in Tax-regulated TR3/nur77 expression.

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