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Virology. 1995 Apr 20;208(2):450-6.

The retinoblastoma gene product negatively regulates transcriptional activation mediated by the human cytomegalovirus IE2 protein.

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Institute for Molecular Biology and Genetics, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University, Korea.


The IE2 gene product of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is one of a few viral regulatory proteins expressed immediately upon infection of the host cell. It is a potent transcriptional activator of many viral and cellular promoters. We found that the retinoblastoma susceptibility gene product (Rb) dramatically suppressed this IE2 transactivation of various promoters. However, unlike another tumor suppressor protein, p53, Rb did not have any significant effect on basal levels of transcription, suggesting that Rb specifically interacts with IE2 rather than other cellular factors involved in the general transcription machinery. We found by protein-affinity chromatography that Rb in nuclear extracts or produced by in vitro translation directly bound to IE2. Our results suggest that Rb may regulate the life cycle of HCMV, which is endemic in the human population. Furthermore, these data may provide new insights into the slow rate of HCMV DNA replication in cells and the possible involvement of HCMV in tumorigenesis.

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