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Repression of simian virus 40 early transcription by viral DNA replication in human 293 cells

Repression of simian virus 40 early transcription by viral DNA replication in human 293 cells

Nature 317(6033): 172-175

The small DNA tumour virus simian virus 40 (SV40) has served as an excellent model for many studies on the mechanism and control of gene expression in eukaryotic cells. The SV40 early region produces two protein products. One product (large-T antigen) is known both to repress early viral transcription and to stimulate viral replication by binding to specific sites in the origin-promoter region. The early promoter has several similarities to other RNA polymerase II promoters, for example, it possesses a TATA box, an upstream element and an enhancer. However, the SV40 early promoter differs from other known RNA polymerase II promoters in that the origin of viral DNA replication is embedded within it. Here we show that the SV40 early region is expressed at an extremely low level following its introduction ito human 293 cells, contrasting with results observed in a large number of other cells lines. We show further that the lack of expression is due to repression of transcription from the SV40 early promoter by viral DNA replication which occurs efficiently in 293 cells.

Accession: 041241953

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PMID: 2993922

DOI: 10.1038/317172a0

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