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J Virol. 2008 Sep;82(17):8849-62. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00553-08. Epub 2008 Jun 25.

Evidence for a structural relationship between BRCT domains and the helicase domains of the replication initiators encoded by the Polyomaviridae and Papillomaviridae families of DNA tumor viruses.

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Department of Biochemistry, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


Studies of DNA tumor viruses have provided important insights into fundamental cellular processes and oncogenic transformation. They have revealed, for example, that upon expression of virally encoded proteins, cellular pathways involved in DNA repair and cell cycle control are disrupted. Herein, evidence is presented that BRCT-related regions are present in the helicase domains of the viral initiators encoded by the Polyomaviridae and Papillomaviridae viral families. Of interest, BRCT domains in cellular proteins recruit factors involved in diverse pathways, including DNA repair and the regulation of cell cycle progression. Therefore, the viral BRCT-related regions may compete with host BRCT domains for particular cellular ligands, a process that would help to explain the pleiotropic effects associated with infections with many DNA tumor viruses.

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