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EMBO J. 1989 May;8(5):1447-53.

The Epstein-Barr virus early protein EB1 activates transcription from different responsive elements including AP-1 binding sites.

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UMR 13 ENS-CNRS, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, France.


When expressed in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latently infected B cells, the EBV early protein EB1 trans-activates as many EBV early genes as does TPA. Several EB1 responsive elements (ZRE) have been identified in EBV early promoters and are located at relatively short distances from the TATA box. One of them (ZRE-M) overlaps with a consensus TPA responsive element (TRE) defined as an AP-1/c-jun/c-fos binding site and is located in an EBV promoter controlling the expression of the post-transcriptional activator EB2. Another (ZREZ) is located in the promoter controlling the expression of EB1 and does not respond to TPA. These two ZREs have no apparent sequence homology. Although EB1 activates transcription from the AP-1 enhancer sequence and from the ZREZ, the activation is severely impaired by distance, suggesting that EB1 is more likely to be a promoter factor than an enhancer factor. These properties also suggest that EB1 is not functionally related to c-jun and c-fos. However, since EB1 can activate transcription from AP-1 binding sites when properly positioned, the role of this factor in the oncogenic properties of EBV should be considered.

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