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Eur J Biochem. 2000 Jun;267(12):3891-901.

The PKC targeting protein RACK1 interacts with the Epstein-Barr virus activator protein BZLF1.

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1
GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology and Tumor Genetics, Department of Gene Vectors, M√ľnchen, Germany.

Abstract

Phorbol esters reactivate Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) from latently infected cells via transcriptional activation of the viral immediate-early gene BZLF1. BZLF1 is a member of the extended AP-1 family of transcription factors that binds to specific BZLF1-binding motifs within early EBV promoters and to consensus AP-1 sites. Regulation of BZLF1's activity is achieved at the transcriptional level as well as through post-translational modifications. Recently, we reported that the transcriptional activity of BZLF1 is augmented by TPA [Baumann, M., Mischak, H., Dammeier, S., Kolch, W., Gires, O., Pich, D., Zeidler, R., Delecluse, H. J. & Hammerschmidt, W., (1998) J. Virol. 72, 8105-8114]. The increase of BZLF1's activity depends on a single serine residue (S186) that is phosphorylated by protein kinase C (PKC) in vitro and in vivo after stimulation with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Here, we identified RACK1 as a binding partner of BZLF1 in a yeast interaction trap assay. RACK stands for receptor of activated C-kinase and is involved in targeting activated PKCs and other signaling proteins. In vivo, RACK1 binds directly to the transactivation domain of BZLF1. Although a functional relationship between BZLF1 and PKC could be mediated by RACKs, RACK1 did not have a detectable effect on the phosphorylation status of BZLF1 in in vitro or in vivo phosphorylation assays. We suggest that RACK1 may act as a scaffolding protein on BZLF1 independently of activated PKCs.

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