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J Biol Chem. 1992 Jun 15;267(17):12049-54.

Identification of the 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-responsive enhancer of the MS gene of the Epstein-Barr virus.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


We previously located two 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-responsive enhancers, MSTRE-I and MSTRE-II, in the upstream sequence of the MS gene of Epstein-Barr virus (Liu, Q., and Summers, W.C. (1989) J. Virol. 63, 5062-5068). The core sequence of the MSTRE-I enhancer is now determined to be between -718 and -708 of the upstream sequence of the MS gene. The activity of the enhancer is also sensitive to its immediate surrounding sequence on either side. A single copy of a 30-base pair (bp) fragment containing the MSTRE-I sequence was able to confer TPA responsiveness upon the MS promoter even in the absence of an AP-1 binding site. Multiple tandem copies of this 30-bp fragment, regardless of their relative orientations to each other, could function synergistically to enhance the MS promoter activity. At least two copies of the 30-bp fragment were required to bestow TPA induction upon the thymidine kinase gene promoter of herpes simplex virus type 1. The MSTRE-I sequence could also be bound by a Fos-GCN4 chimeric protein but with an affinity much lower than that between the chimeric protein and the AP-1 binding site. This MSTRE-I region has strong homology to one of the TPA-responsive elements (the ZII domain) in the upstream sequence of the EBV BZLF1 gene. In addition, a putative negative regulatory region or silencer was found immediately downstream of the MSTRE-I enhancer. This potential silencer region contains a 14-bp sequence that is homologous to the silencer consensus sequence of the BZLF1 gene. Therefore, the regulation of the MS gene may share the same pathway with the immediate early gene BZLF1.

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