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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Jan;84(1):71-5.

Host cell proteins bind to the cis-acting site required for virion-mediated induction of herpes simplex virus 1 alpha genes.


The herpes simplex virus 1 genes form at least five groups (alpha, beta 1, beta 2, gamma 1, and gamma 2) whose expression is coordinately regulated and sequentially ordered in a cascade fashion. In productively infected cells, the alpha genes are expressed first, and a virion protein, the alpha-trans-inducing factor (alpha-TIF), acts in trans to enhance their expression. Induction of the alpha genes by alpha-TIF requires the presence of a trans-induction cis-acting site (alpha-TIC), and one to three homologs of the alpha-TIC sequence are contained in the regulatory domains of all alpha genes. We report that small DNA fragments from regulatory domains of alpha 0, alpha 4, and alpha 27 genes containing alpha-TIC homologs formed complexes with host but not viral proteins. DNase protection studies indicated that the major host protein complex alpha-H1 detected in DNA gel retardation assays bound asymmetrically across the alpha-TIC site. All DNA fragments containing alpha-TIC homologs, but not those lacking the homolog, competed for the binding of this complex. The location of the binding site of the other host proteins is not yet known. Simian virus 40 DNA fragments containing a homolog of the alpha-TIC sequence also competed with herpes simplex virus DNA fragments carrying authentic alpha-TIC homologs for the alpha-H1 protein complex.

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