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(1/1118) A possible contributory role of BK virus infection in neuroblastoma development.

The tumor suppressor protein p53 is aberrantly localized to the cytoplasm of neuroblastoma cells, compromising the suppressor function of this protein. Such tumors are experimentally induced in transgenic mice expressing the large tumor (T) antigen of polyomaviruses. The oncogenic mechanisms of T antigen include complex formation with, and inactivation of, the tumor suppressor protein p53. Samples from 18 human neuroblastomas and five normal human adrenal glands were examined. BK virus DNA was detected in all neuroblastomas and none of five normal adrenal glands by PCR. Using DNA in situ hybridization, polyomaviral DNA was found in the tumor cells of 17 of 18 neuroblastomas, but in none of five adrenal medullas. Expression of the large T antigen was detected in the tumor cells of 16 of 18 neuroblastomas, but in none of the five adrenal medullas. By double immunostaining BK virus T antigen and p53 was colocalized to the cytoplasm of the tumor cells. Immunoprecipitation revealed binding between the two proteins. The presence and expression of BK virus in neuroblastomas, but not in normal adrenal medulla, and colocalization and binding to p53, suggest that this virus may play a contributory role in the development of this neoplasm.  (+info)

(2/1118) The retinoblastoma protein alters the phosphorylation state of polyomavirus large T antigen in murine cell extracts and inhibits polyomavirus origin DNA replication.

The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (pRb) can associate with the transforming proteins of several DNA tumor viruses, including the large T antigen encoded by polyomavirus (Py T Ag). Although pRb function is critical for regulating progression from G1 to S phase, a role for pRb in S phase has not been demonstrated or excluded. To identify a potential effect of pRb on DNA replication, pRb protein was added to reaction mixtures containing Py T Ag, Py origin-containing DNA (Py ori-DNA), and murine FM3A cell extracts. We found that pRb strongly represses Py ori-DNA replication in vitro. Unexpectedly, however, this inhibition only partially depends on the interaction of pRb with Py T Ag, since a mutant Py T Ag (dl141) lacking the pRb interaction region was also significantly inhibited by pRb. This result suggests that pRb interferes with or alters one or more components of the murine cell replication extract. Furthermore, the ability of Py T Ag to be phosphorylated in such extracts is markedly reduced in the presence of pRb. Since cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) phosphorylation of Py T Ag is required for its replication function, we hypothesize that pRb interferes with this phosphorylation event. Indeed, the S-phase CDK complex (cyclin A-CDK2), which phosphorylates both pRb and Py T Ag, alleviates inhibition caused by pRb. Moreover, hyperphosphorylated pRb is incapable of inhibiting replication of Py ori-DNA in vitro. We propose a new requirement for maintaining pRb phosphorylation in S phase, namely, to prevent deleterious effects on the cellular replication machinery.  (+info)

(3/1118) The simian virus 40 small-t and large-T antigens jointly regulate cell cycle reentry in human fibroblasts.

Focus formation in human diploid fibroblasts (HDF cells) is known to require both the simian virus 40 (SV40) large-T and small-t antigens. Similarly, both SV40 proteins were required to stimulate confluent, density-arrested HDF cells to reenter the cell cycle. This study used defective recombinant adenoviruses to examine the roles of the individual SV40 proteins in altering specific steps in the cell cycle. Small-t antigen and, to a lesser extent, large-T antigen increased the level of the S phase cyclin cyclin A but without increasing the activity of associated cyclin kinases unless the two SV40 proteins were coexpressed. The absence of kinase activity reflected the presence in density-arrested cells of high levels of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21(WAF1) and p27(KIP1). We report here that expression of SV40 large-T antigen reduced levels of p21(WAF1), while expression of small-t antigen was required to decrease p27(KIP1). The separate effects of large-T and small-t antigens on these two inhibitors may explain the joint requirement for the two proteins to drive cell cycle reentry of HDF cells and ultimately transform these cells.  (+info)

(4/1118) The J domain of papovaviral large tumor antigen is required for synergistic interaction with the POU-domain protein Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP.

Large T antigens from polyomaviruses are multifunctional proteins with roles in transcriptional regulation, viral DNA replication, and cellular transformation. They have been shown to enhance the activity of various cellular transcription factors. In the case of the POU protein Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP, this enhancement involves a direct physical interaction between the POU domain of the transcription factor and the amino-terminal region of large T antigen. Here we have analyzed the structural requirements for synergistic interaction between the two proteins in greater detail. Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP and the related POU protein Brn-1 were both capable of direct physical interaction with large T antigen. Nevertheless, only Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP functioned synergistically with large T antigen. This differential behavior was due to differences in the amino-terminal regions of the proteins, as evident from chimeras between Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP and Brn-1. Synergy was specifically observed for constructs containing the amino-terminal region of Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP. Large T antigen, on the other hand, functioned synergistically with Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP only when the integrity of its J-domain-containing amino terminus was maintained. Mutations that disrupted the J domain concomitantly abolished the ability to enhance the function of Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP. The J domain of T antigen was also responsible for the physical interaction with Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP and could be replaced in this property by other J domains. Intriguingly, a heterologous J domain from a human DnaJ protein partially substituted for the amino terminus of T antigen even with regard to the synergistic enhancement of Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP function. Given the general role of J domains, we propose chaperone activity as the underlying mechanism for synergy between Tst-1/Oct6/SCIP and large T antigens.  (+info)

(5/1118) New insights into the mechanism of inhibition of p53 by simian virus 40 large T antigen.

Simian virus 40 (SV40) large tumor antigen (T antigen) has been shown to inhibit p53-dependent transcription by preventing p53 from binding to its cognate cis element. Data presented in this report provide the first direct functional evidence that T antigen, under certain conditions, may also repress p53-dependent transcription by a mechanism in which the transactivation domain of p53 is abrogated while DNA binding is unaffected. Specifically, p53 purified as a complex with T antigen from mouse cells was found to bind DNA as a transcriptionally inactive intact complex, while that purified from human cells was found to bind DNA independently of T antigen and could activate p53-dependent transcription. This difference in activity may be dependent on a different interaction of T antigen with mouse and human p53 and, in addition, on the presence of super T, which is found only in transformed rodent cells. These results suggest that subtle yet important differences exist between the inhibition of p53 by T antigen in mouse and human cells. The implications of this finding with respect to SV40-associated malignancies are discussed.  (+info)

(6/1118) A kinase activity associated with simian virus 40 large T antigen phosphorylates upstream binding factor (UBF) and promotes formation of a stable initiation complex between UBF and SL1.

Simian virus 40 large T antigen is a multifunctional protein which has been shown to modulate the expression of genes transcribed by RNA polymerase I (Pol I), II, and III. In all three transcription systems, a key step in the activation process is the recruitment of large T antigen to the promoter by direct protein-protein interaction with the TATA binding protein (TBP)-TAF complexes, namely, SL1, TFIID, and TFIIIB. However, our previous studies on large T antigen stimulation of Pol I transcription also revealed that the binding to the TBP-TAFI complex SL1 is not sufficient to activate transcription. To further define the molecular mechanism involved in large T antigen-mediated Pol I activation, we examined whether the high-mobility group box-containing upstream binding factor (UBF) plays any role in this process. Here, using cell labeling experiments, we showed that large T antigen expression induces an increase in UBF phosphorylation. Further biochemical analysis demonstrated that UBF is phosphorylated by a kinase activity that is strongly associated with large T antigen, and that the carboxy-terminal activation domain of UBF is required for the phosphorylation to occur. Using in vitro reconstituted transcription assays, we demonstrated that the inability of alkaline phosphatase treated UBF to efficiently activate transcription can be rescued by large T antigen. Moreover, we showed that large T antigen-induced UBF phosphorylation promotes the formation of a stable UBF-SL1 complex. Together, these results provide strong evidence for an important role for the large T antigen-associated kinase in mediating the stimulation of RNA Pol I transcription.  (+info)

(7/1118) Atm is dispensable for p53 apoptosis and tumor suppression triggered by cell cycle dysfunction.

Both p53 and ATM are checkpoint regulators with roles in genetic stabilization and cancer susceptibility. ATM appears to function in the same DNA damage checkpoint pathway as p53. However, ATM's role in p53-dependent apoptosis and tumor suppression in response to cell cycle dysregulation is unknown. In this study, we tested the role of murine ataxia telangiectasia protein (Atm) in a transgenic mouse brain tumor model in which p53-mediated apoptosis results in tumor suppression. These p53-mediated activities are induced by tissue-specific inactivation of pRb family proteins by a truncated simian virus 40 large T antigen in brain epithelium. We show that p53-dependent apoptosis, transactivation, and tumor suppression are unaffected by Atm deficiency, suggesting that signaling in the DNA damage pathway is distinct from that in the oncogene-induced pathway. In addition, we show that Atm deficiency has no overall effect on tumor growth and progression in this model.  (+info)

(8/1118) Telomerase extends the lifespan of virus-transformed human cells without net telomere lengthening.

Human fibroblasts whose lifespan in culture has been extended by expression of a viral oncogene eventually undergo a growth crisis marked by failure to proliferate. It has been proposed that telomere shortening in these cells is the property that limits their proliferation. Here we report that ectopic expression of the wild-type reverse transcriptase protein (hTERT) of human telomerase averts crisis, at the same time reducing the frequency of dicentric and abnormal chromosomes. Surprisingly, as the resulting immortalized cells containing active telomerase continue to proliferate, their telomeres continue to shorten to mean lengths below those in control cells that enter crisis. These results provide evidence for a protective function of human telomerase that allows cell proliferation without requiring net lengthening of telomeres.  (+info)