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Virology. 2004 Jan 20;318(2):542-55.

Amplification of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8 lytic origin of DNA replication is dependent upon a cis-acting AT-rich region and an ORF50 response element and the trans-acting factors ORF50 (K-Rta) and K8 (K-bZIP).

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Department of Microbiology and the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV 89557, USA.


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8), has significant sequence homology to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). In cell culture, HHV8 is primarily latent, and viral genes associated with lytic replication are not expressed. Two lytic origins of DNA replication (oriLyt) are present within the HHV8 genome and are composed of an AT-rich region adjacent to GC-rich DNA sequences. We have now identified essential cis- and trans-acting elements required for oriLyt-dependent DNA replication. The transient replication assay was used to show that two AT-rich elements, three consensus AP1 transcription factor-binding sites, an ORF50 response element (RE), and a consensus TATA box motif are essential for efficient origin-dependent DNA replication. Transient transfection of luciferase reporter constructs indicated that the downstream region of the HHV8 oriLyt responds to ORF50 and suggests that part of the oriLyt may be an enhancer/promoter. In addition, a transient cotransfection-replication assay elucidated the set of trans-acting factors required for lytic DNA replication. These factors consist of homologues to the core replication proteins: ORF6 (ssDNA binding protein), ORF9 (DNA polymerase), ORF40-41 (primase-associated factor), ORF44 (helicase), ORF56 (primase), and ORF59 (polymerase processivity factor) common to all herpesviruses along with ORF50 (K-Rta) and K8 (K-bZIP).

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