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EMBO J. 2001 Oct 15;20(20):5578-86.

Link of the unique oncogenic properties of adenovirus type 9 E4-ORF1 to a select interaction with the candidate tumor suppressor protein ZO-2.

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Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Adenovirus type 9 (Ad9) is distinct among human adenoviruses because it elicits solely mammary tumors in animals and its primary oncogenic determinant is the E4 region-encoded ORF1 (E4-ORF1) protein. We report here that the PDZ domain-containing protein ZO-2, which is a candidate tumor suppressor protein, is a cellular target for tumorigenic Ad9 E4-ORF1 but not for non-tumorigenic wild-type E4-ORF1 proteins encoded by adenovirus types 5 and 12. Complex formation was mediated by the C-terminal PDZ domain-binding motif of Ad9 E4- ORF1 and the first PDZ domain of ZO-2, and in cells this interaction resulted in aberrant sequestration of ZO-2 within the cytoplasm. Furthermore, transformation-defective Ad9 E4-ORF1 mutants exhibited impaired binding to and sequestration of ZO-2 in cells, and overexpression of wild-type ZO-2, but not mutant ZO-2 lacking the second and third PDZ domains, interfered with Ad9 E4-ORF1-induced focus formation. Our results suggest that the select capacity to complex with the candidate tumor suppressor protein ZO-2 is key to defining the unique transforming and tumorigenic properties of the Ad9 E4-ORF1 oncoprotein.

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