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J Virol. 2012 Mar;86(6):3167-79. doi: 10.1128/JVI.06583-11. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

Adenovirus E4orf3 targets transcriptional intermediary factor 1γ for proteasome-dependent degradation during infection.

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  • 1School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UnitedKingdom.


The ability of adenovirus early region proteins, E1B-55K and E4orf6, to usurp control of cellular ubiquitin ligases and target proteins for proteasome-dependent degradation during infection is well established. Here we show that the E4 gene product, E4orf3 can, independently of E1B-55K and E4orf6, target the transcriptional corepressor transcriptional intermediary factor 1γ (TIF1γ) for proteasome-mediated degradation during infection. Initial mass spectrometric studies identified TIF1 family members-TIF1α, TIF1β, and TIF1γ-as E1B-55K-binding proteins in both transformed and infected cells, but analyses revealed that, akin to TIF1α, TIF1γ is reorganized in an E4orf3-dependent manner to promyelocytic leukemia protein-containing nuclear tracks during infection. The use of a number of different adenovirus early region mutants identified the specific and sole requirement for E4orf3 in mediating TIF1γ degradation. Further analyses revealed that TIF1γ is targeted for degradation by a number of divergent human adenoviruses, suggesting that the ability of E4orf3 to regulate TIF1γ expression is evolutionarily conserved. We also determined that E4orf3 does not utilize the Cullin-based ubiquitin ligases, CRL2 and CRL5, or the TIF1α ubiquitin ligase in order to promote TIF1γ degradation. Further studies suggested that TIF1γ possesses antiviral activity and limits adenovirus early and late gene product expression during infection. Indeed, TIF1γ knockdown accelerates the adenovirus-mediated degradation of MRE11, while TIF1γ overexpression delays the adenovirus-mediated degradation of MRE11. Taken together, these studies have identified novel adenovirus targets and have established a new role for the E4orf3 protein during infection.

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