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Sequences involved in initiation of simian virus 40 late transcription in the absence of T antigen



Sequences involved in initiation of simian virus 40 late transcription in the absence of T antigen



Molecular and Cellular Biology 6(6): 1875-1885



We analyzed the sequences involved in vivo in the initiation of simian virus 40 (SV40) late transcription occurring in the absence of both SV40 origin sequences and T antigen. The constituent elements of the SV40 late promoters have already been the subject of extensive studies. In vitro studies have resulted in the description of two putative domains of the late promoters. The first domain consists of an 11-base-pair (bp) sequence, 5'-GGTACCTAACC-3', located 25 nucleotides (nt) upstream of the SV40 major late initiation site (MLIS) (J. Brady, M. Radonovich, M. Vodkin, V. Natarajan, M. Thoren, G. Das, J. Janik, and N. P. Salzman, Cell 31:624-633, 1982). The second domain is located within the G-C-rich region (J. Brady, M. Radonovich, M. Thoren, G. Das, and N. P. Salzman, Mol. Cell. Biol. 4:133-141; U. Hansen and P. A. Sharp, EMBO J. 2:2293-2303). Our previous in vivo studies permitted us to define a domain of the late promoter which extends from nt 332 to nt 113 and includes the 72-bp enhancer sequences. Here, by using transfection of the appropriate chimeric plasmids into HeLa cells in conjunction with quantitative S1 nuclease analysis, we analyzed in more detail the sequences required for the control of SV40 late-gene expression occurring before the onset of viral DNA replication. We showed that the major late promoter element is in fact the 72-bp repeat enhancer element. This element was able to drive efficient late transcription in the absence of T antigen. Under our experimental conditions, removal of the G-C-rich region (21-bp repeats) entailed a significant increase in the level of late-gene expression. Moreover, translocation of this element closer to the MLIS (53 nt upstream of the MLIS) enhanced the level of transcripts initiated at natural late initiation sites. Our results suggest that the G-C-rich regions have to be positioned between the enhancer element and the initiation sites to stimulate transcription from downstream sites. Thus, the relative arrangement of the various promoter elements is a critical factor contributing to the situation in which the early promoter is stronger than late promoters before viral DNA replication.

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Accession: 041336450

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PMID: 3023909

DOI: 10.1128/mcb.6.6.1875


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