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Virology. 1998 May 10;244(2):330-42.

Human cells arrest in S phase in response to adenovirus 12 E1A.

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CRC Institute for Cancer Studies, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, United Kingdom.


It has previously been shown that following viral infection, Ad5 E1A induces cell cycle progression of quiescent rodent cells, leading to DNA synthesis and mitosis. Here we have examined the effect of Ad12 E1A on the cell cycle characteristics of human cells. Human tumor (A549, KB, and HeLa) cells were infected with Ad12 d/620, a mutant virus which has a lesion in the E1B gene and essentially expresses only E1A. These infected cells progressed from being largely in G1 into S phase, where they arrested. Even up to 96 h postinfection (p.i.) the cells remained blocked in S phase. DNA synthesis did, however, proceed in Ad12 d/620-infected cells, giving rise to multiple copies of cellular DNA. Similar results were obtained when primary human skin fibroblasts were infected, although the polyploidy was less marked. The expression of cyclins A, B1, and E in the tumor cells increased appreciably in response to E1A. In contrast, there was a dramatic reduction in the levels of cyclin D1 and D3. Increases in cyclin D1 expression could be detected at very late times p.i. In those cell lines expressing low levels of cdc2 and cdk2 an appreciable increase in expression was seen soon after Ad12 E1A could be detected. The elevated levels of cyclins A, B1, and E were associated with increased protein kinase activity directed against histone H1. An increase in cyclin D1-associated kinase activity against Rb1 was also observed at late times. This deregulation of the cell cycle was not solely dependent on E1A inactivation of Rb, since similar effects were seen in Ad12 d/620-infected retinoblastoma (Y-79) cells, implicating p107 and p130 in E1A-mediated changes in cell cycle progression. We propose that the E1A-induced levels of cyclins A, B1, and E by Ad12 E1A in human cells may lead to an uncoupling of S phase from cell cycle progression.

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