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EMBO J. 1989 Jan;8(1):127-32.

Epstein-Barr virus BZLF1 trans-activator specifically binds to a consensus AP-1 site and is related to c-fos.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, St Mary's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.


Two regions of the Epstein-Barr virus BZLF1 trans-activator protein have sequence similarity to the c-fos protein. Part of the similarity corresponds to the region of c-fos which is similar to the DNA binding domain of c-jun and GCN-4. The structure of the exon which contains this region in c-fos and BZLF1 is also highly conserved between the two genes. Complete BZLF1 protein and a C terminal fragment were prepared either as purified fusion proteins or by in vitro translation from a BZLF1 cDNA. Gel retardation and DNase footprinting assays using these proteins show that BZLF1 is a sequence specific DNA binding protein capable of binding to a target sequence which contains a consensus AP-1 site.

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