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J Virol. 2007 Jan;81(2):575-87. Epub 2006 Nov 1.

Adenovirus ubiquitin-protein ligase stimulates viral late mRNA nuclear export.

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Molecular Biology Institute, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Theadenovirus type 5 (Ad5) E1B-55K and E4orf6 proteins are required together to stimulate viral late nuclear mRNA export to the cytoplasm and to restrict host cell nuclear mRNA export during the late phase of infection. Previous studies have shown that these two viral proteins interact with the cellular proteins elongins B and C, cullin 5, RBX1, and additional cellular proteins to form an E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase that polyubiquitinates p53 and probably one or more subunits of the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex, directing their proteasomal degradation. The MRN complex is required for cellular DNA double-strand break repair and induction of the DNA damage response by adenovirus infection. To determine if the ability of E1B-55K and E4orf6 to stimulate viral late mRNA nuclear export requires the ubiquitin-protein ligase activity of this viral ubiquitin-protein ligase complex, we designed and expressed a dominant-negative mutant form of cullin 5 in HeLa cells before infection with wild-type Ad5 or the E1B-55K null mutant dl1520. The dominant-negative cullin 5 protein stabilized p53 and the MRN complex, indicating that it inhibited the viral ubiquitin-protein ligase but had no effect on viral early mRNA synthesis, early protein synthesis, or viral DNA replication. However, expression of the dominant-negative cullin 5 protein caused a decrease in viral late protein synthesis and viral nuclear mRNA export similar to the phenotype produced by mutations in E1B-55K. We conclude that the stimulation of adenovirus late mRNA nuclear export by E1B-55K and E4orf6 results from the ubiquitin-protein ligase activity of the adenovirus ubiquitin-protein ligase complex.

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