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Characterization of the minute virus of mice P38 core promoter elements.

By C Lorson and D J Pintel


While the minute virus of mice (MVM) P4 promoter, which drives the viral nonstructural genes, is highly active in the absence of viral proteins, P38, the capsid gene promoter, is strictly dependent on the viral nonstructural protein NS1. Once fully transactivated, however, P38 mediates twice the steady-state level of expression achieved by P4. In this report, we address the discrepancy between the ability of P38 to mediate very high levels of activated transcription yet only low levels of basal expression, and we investigate the determinants that govern P38 basal expression. The isolated P38 core promoter elements (the P38 Sp1-binding site and TATA element) are at least as transcriptionally competent as the analogous P4 promoter elements. Proximally positioning P4 enhancer factor-binding sequences (nucleotides [nt] 57 to 157) upstream of isolated P38 core transcription regulatory elements or upstream of a native, though abbreviated, P38 cassette (MVM nt 1938 to 2072) confers significant levels of expression to P38 in the absence of NS1, while the full left-end hairpin sequences (nt 1 to 133) elevate basal P38 activity to levels equivalent to P4 basal levels. In the context of the complete viral genome, however, proximally positioned enhancer sequences are unable to confer significant levels of expression to P38, suggesting that low P38 basal levels are a consequence not only of a lack of proximal enhancer elements but also of additional positional regulatory constraints which can be overcome by NS1

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1997
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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