Genetic and biochemical evidence has established that the E2 open reading frame (ORF) of bovine papillomavirus type 1 encodes at least two different site-specific DNA-binding proteins, one which activates and the other which represses expression from a viral promoter (P. F. Lambert, B. A. Spalholz, and P. M. Howley, Cell 50:69-78, 1987). We have obtained data which show that a second form of the repressor gene is expressed in transformed cells harboring stable viral plasmids. The structural details of this gene have been discerned by cDNA cloning, by RNase protection, and by primer extension analysis of in vivo RNA. Moreover, data from in vitro transcription experiments support the notion that this form of the E2 repressor is expressed from a novel viral promoter and that a small exon from another ORF is linked to an active repressor domain in E2. Thus, two different forms of the repressor are expressed from different promoters and might be independently regulated either in the cell cycle or in different tissue types. We show by functional in vivo assays utilizing a cDNA vector encoding this gene that the trans-acting factor has in vivo activities similar to those of the known repressor. Our screen of a cDNA library for cDNA clones representing bovine papillomavirus transcripts has also revealed a number of other novel structures defining new donor and acceptor RNA-processing sites. Notably, clones which conceptually can be translated to yield an E7 protein, the viral M gene, and the entire E2 ORF have been characterized. Finally, truncated versions of putative E8 cDNAs were also obtained
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