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EMBO J. 1992 Nov;11(11):4111-8.

Separation of the transcriptional activation and replication functions of the bovine papillomavirus-1 E2 protein.

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Laboratory of Tumor Virus Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Replication of bovine papillomavirus-1 (BPV-1) DNA requires two viral gene products, the E1 protein and the full-length E2 protein. The 48 kDa E2 protein is a site-specific DNA-binding protein that binds to several sites which lie adjacent to the BPV-1 origin of replication. The 85 amino acid C-terminal domain contains the specific DNA binding and dimerization properties of the protein. The approximately 200 amino acid N-terminal domain is crucial for transcriptional activation. Both of these domains are highly conserved among different papillomaviruses. An internal hinge region separates the two functional domains. The region varies in amino acid sequence and length among the E2 proteins of different papillomaviruses. A series of mutations were constructed within the E2 open reading frame which delete various regions of the conserved DNA binding and transactivation domains as well as the internal hinge region. Two mutated E2 proteins that lack portions of the conserved DNA-binding domain but which support DNA replication were identified using transient replication assays. These mutated E2 proteins were unable to function as transcriptional activators. Conversely, two E2 proteins containing large deletions of the hinge region were able to activate transcription, but were defective for replication. Thus, the replication and transactivation functions of the E2 protein are separable.

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