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J Virol. 1991 Jun;65(6):3122-30.

vRel is an inactive member of the Rel family of transcriptional activating proteins.

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1
Department of Biology, Boston University, Massachusetts 02215.

Abstract

The vRel oncoprotein is member of a family of related proteins that also includes cRel, NF-kappa B, and Dorsal. We investigated the transcriptional regulatory properties of several Rel proteins in cotransfection assays with chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF). Retroviral vectors expressing hybrid proteins that contain the DNA-binding domain of LexA fused to portions of the viral oncoprotein vRel or chicken, mouse, human, or Drosophila melanogaster (Dorsal) cRel proteins were cotransfected with a reporter plasmid that contains the DNA sequence recognized by LexA, a promoter, and the assayable gene for chloramphenicol acetyltransferase. In transient assays, a LexA-vRel protein did not activate transcription in CEF. Full-length chicken cRel, mouse cRel, and Dorsal fusion proteins all activated transcription weakly; however, deletion of N-terminal Rel sequences from each of these proto-oncogene encoded proteins resulted in strong activation by LexA fusion proteins containing only C-terminal sequences. Inhibition of the C-terminal chicken cRel gene activation domain by N-terminal sequences was seen in CEF and mouse and monkey fibroblasts. These results show that cRel proteins from different species have the same general organization: an N-terminal inhibitory domain and a C-terminal activation domain. Sequence comparison suggests that the inhibitory domain is conserved but the activation domain is species specific. In contrast, vRel lacks a strong C-terminal gene activation function, since a LexA fusion protein containing C-terminal vRel sequences alone only weakly activated transcription. In addition, the wild-type vRel protein (lacking LexA sequences) repressed transcription from reporter plasmids containing NF-kappa B target sequences; nontransforming vRel mutants did not repress transcription from these plasmids. Our results suggest that vRel transforms cells by interfering with transcriptional activation by cellular Rel proteins.

PMID:
1903456
PMCID:
PMC240968
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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