Multiple copies of each of three genetically defined simian virus 40 protoenhancers, A, B, and C, were able to substitute for the wild-type simian virus 40 enhancer. Although the recombinant viruses grew poorly, they could be propagated without the accumulation of enhancer rearrangements that might improve viability. Mutations that inactivate the multimerized B and C protoenhancers abolished virus growth, but, unexpectedly, a mutation that inactivates the octamer-enhanson within the B protoenhancer increased virus viability. This positive effect may reflect loss of repression of the B protoenhancer by the ubiquitous octamer-motif-binding protein Oct-1
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