(1/1731) Cloning and characterization of the promoter region of human telomerase reverse transcriptase gene.

Activation of telomerase is one of the rate-limiting steps in human cell immortalization and carcinogenesis Human telomerase is composed of at least two protein subunits and an RNA component. Regulation of expression of the catalytic subunit, human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), is suggested as the major determinant of the enzymatic activity. We report here the cloning and characterization of the 5'-regulatory region of the hTERT gene. The highly GC-rich content of the 5' end of the hTERT cDNA spans to the 5'-flanking region and intron 1, making a CpG island. A 1.7-kb DNA fragment encompassing the hTERT gene promoter was placed upstream of the luciferase reporter gene and transiently transfected into human cell lines of fibroblastic and epithelial origins that differed in their expression of the endogenous hTERT gene. Endogenous hTERT-expressing cells, but not nonexpressing cells, showed high levels of luciferase activity, suggesting that the regulation of hTERT gene expression occurs mainly at the transcriptional level. Additional luciferase assays using a series of constructs containing unidirectionally deleted fragments revealed that a 59-bp region (-208 to -150) is required for the maximal promoter activity. The region contains a potential Myc oncoprotein binding site (E-box), and cotransfection of a c-myc expression plasmid markedly enhanced the promoter activity, suggesting a role of the Myc protein in telomerase activation. Identification of the regulatory regions of the hTERT promoter sequence will be essential in understanding the molecular mechanisms of positive and negative regulation of telomerase.  (+info)

(2/1731) A novel Vpr peptide interactor fused to integrase (IN) restores integration activity to IN-defective HIV-1 virions.

A novel approach to complement human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) integrase (IN)-defective virions has been identified. The approach involves fusion of a 23-amino-acid stretch to the N-terminus of wild-type IN and coexpression of this chimera with the IN-defective proviral template in virus producing cells. The 23-amino-acid peptide represents a Vpr "interactor," referred to as the the WxxF or WF domain, which apparently leads to docking of the domain along with the fusion partner onto HIV-1 Vpr, thus permitting virion incorporation of the chimeric protein when expressed, in trans, with other viral products. Transfection of the WF-IN expression plasmid along with HIV-1 viral clones that produce Vpr, but bear an IN mutation, results in the release of a proportion of viral particles that are competent for integration. The extent of complementation was assessed using the MAGI cell assay, where integration of viral DNA results in the eventual appearance of easily visible multinucleated blue syncytia. The efficiency of dWF-IN (double copy of WF domain) complementation is not improved markedly by incorporation of a HIV-1 protease cleavage site (PR) between the dWF domain and IN (dWF-PR-IN), unlike that observed with Vpr fusions to IN. Furthermore, the ability of Vpr-PR-IN and dWF-PR-IN to complement IN-defective proviral clones, both of which bear an intervening protease cleavage site, appear comparable. Western blotting analyses using virions isolated through sucrose cushions demonstrate clearly the incorporation of the dWF-IN fusion protein into Vpr containing HIV-1 particles but not in Vpr-deficient virions. Additional Western blotting analyses indicate that all Vpr-IN and dWF-IN chimeras, with or without a PR site, are packaged into virions. The efficiency of virion incorporation of Vpr-IN and dWF-IN chimeras appears approximately comparable by Western blotting analysis. The ability of dWF-IN to complement IN-defective proviruses with efficiency similar to that of Vpr-PR-IN and dWF-PR-IN indicates that dWF-IN retains the full complement of functions necessary for integration of proviral DNA and is likely due to the benign nature of this small domain at the amino-terminus of IN.  (+info)

(3/1731) Analysis of the integration functions of phi304L: an integrase module among corynephages.

Plasmid p12929 was shown to integrate into the chromosome of Corynebacterium glutamicum RM3 and BL15. The minimal integrating fragment was subsequently defined. The arms flanking the integrated plasmid (attL and attR) were identified, allowing for the determination of the attP and the attB attachment sites. The attB site is located at the 3' end of an ORF presenting 62-78% identity with L19 ribosomal proteins. Integration in the attB site does not result in the inactivation of this gene because its end is also present on the attR arm of the integrated plasmid and is reconstituted. The minimal integrating fragment is 1663 bp long and contains two ORFs. The int ORF was identified as phi304L integrase on the basis of the amino acid homologies it shared with the tyrosine recombinases of the lambda integrase family. Moreover this integrase is highly homologous throughout its sequence with the integrase of phi16 corynephage, the percentage of identity reaching 89% at the NH2 end. The identity also extends upstream of the initiation codon, while both phages are elsewhere nonhomologous. An integrase module was proposed to explain this extensive homology.  (+info)

(4/1731) Integration of banana streak badnavirus into the Musa genome: molecular and cytogenetic evidence.

Breeding and tissue culture of certain cultivars of bananas (Musa) have led to high levels of banana streak badnavirus (BSV) infection in progeny from symptomless parents. BSV DNA hybridized to genomic DNA of one such parent, Obino l'Ewai, suggesting integration of viral sequences. Sequencing of clones of Obino l'Ewai genomic DNA revealed an interface between BSV and Musa sequences and a complex BSV integrant. In situ hybridization revealed two different BSV sequence locations in Obino l'Ewai chromosomes and a complex arrangement of BSV and Musa sequences was shown by probing stretched DNA fibers. This is the first report of integrated sequences that possibly lead to a plant pararetrovirus episomal infection by a mechanism differing markedly from animal retroviral systems.  (+info)

(5/1731) Evidence that badnavirus infection in Musa can originate from integrated pararetroviral sequences.

When some virus- and disease-free Musa spp. (banana and plantain) are propagated by tissue culture, the resulting plants develop infections with banana streak badnavirus (BSV), a pararetrovirus. In sharp contrast to the virion DNA recovered from natural infections, the virion DNA from tissue culture-associated infections of different Musa spp. was highly similar if not identical. Although BSV does not employ integration during the infection cycle, BSV DNA was found to be integrated into the Musa genome. While one integration consisted of a partial BSV genome, a second contained more than one complete genome that was almost identical to BSV recovered from tissue culture-derived plants. The arrangement of this integrated BSV DNA suggests that it can yield an infectious episomal genome via homologous recombination. This report documents the first instance of integrated DNA of a nonintegrating virus giving rise to an episomal viral infection and identifies tissue culture as a possible trigger for the infection, raising the question of whether similar activatable viral sequences exist in the genomes of other plants and animals.  (+info)

(6/1731) HMG protein family members stimulate human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and avian sarcoma virus concerted DNA integration in vitro.

We have reconstituted concerted human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) integration in vitro with specially designed mini-donor HIV-1 DNA, a supercoiled plasmid acceptor, purified bacterium-derived HIV-1 integrase (IN), and host HMG protein family members. This system is comparable to one previously described for avian sarcoma virus (ASV) (A. Aiyar et al., J. Virol. 70:3571-3580, 1996) that was stimulated by the presence of HMG-1. Sequence analyses of individual HIV-1 integrants showed loss of 2 bp from the ends of the donor DNA and almost exclusive 5-bp duplications of the acceptor DNA at the site of integration. All of the integrants sequenced were inserted into different sites in the acceptor. These are the features associated with integration of viral DNA in vivo. We have used the ASV and HIV-1 reconstituted systems to compare the mechanism of concerted DNA integration and examine the role of different HMG proteins in the reaction. Of the three HMG proteins examined, HMG-1, HMG-2, and HMG-I(Y), the products formed in the presence of HMG-I(Y) for both systems most closely match those observed in vivo. Further analysis of HMG-I(Y) mutants demonstrates that the stimulation of integration requires an HMG-I(Y) domain involved in DNA binding. While complexes containing HMG-I(Y), ASV IN, and donor DNA can be detected in gel shift experiments, coprecipitation experiments failed to demonstrate stable interactions between HMG-I(Y) and ASV IN or between HMG-I(Y) and HIV-1 IN.  (+info)

(7/1731) Dissecting the role of the N-terminal domain of human immunodeficiency virus integrase by trans-complementation analysis.

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) integrase protein (IN) catalyzes two reactions required to integrate HIV DNA into the human genome: 3' processing of the viral DNA ends and integration. IN has three domains, the N-terminal zinc-binding domain, the catalytic core, and the C-terminal SH3 domain. Previously, it was shown that IN proteins mutated in different domains could complement each other. We now report that this does not require any overlap between the two complementing proteins; an N-terminal domain, provided in trans, can restore IN activity of a mutant lacking this domain. Only the zinc-coordinating form of the N-terminal domain can efficiently restore IN activity of an N-terminal deletion mutant. This suggests that interaction between different domains of IN is needed for functional multimerization. We find that the N-terminal domain of feline immunodeficiency virus IN can support IN activity of an N-terminal deletion mutant of HIV type 2 IN. These cross-complementation experiments indicate that the N-terminal domain contributes to the recognition of specific viral DNA ends.  (+info)

(8/1731) Retroviral insertions in Evi12, a novel common virus integration site upstream of Tra1/Grp94, frequently coincide with insertions in the gene encoding the peripheral cannabinoid receptor Cnr2.

The common virus integration site (VIS) Evi11 was recently identified within the gene encoding the hematopoietic G-protein-coupled peripheral cannabinoid receptor Cnr2 (also referred to as Cb2). Here we show that Cnr2 is a frequent target (12%) for insertion of Cas-Br-M murine leukemia virus (MuLV) in primary tumors in NIH/Swiss mice. Multiple provirus insertions in Evi11 were cloned and shown to be located within the 3' untranslated region of the candidate proto-oncogene Cnr2. These results suggest that proviral insertion in the Cnr2 gene is an important step in Cas-Br-M MuLV-induced leukemogenesis in NIH/Swiss mice. To isolate Evi11/Cnr2 collaborating proto-oncogenes, we searched for novel common VISs in the Cas-Br-M MuLV-induced primary tumors and identified a novel frequent common VIS, Evi12 (14%). Interestingly, 54% of the Evi11/Cnr2-rearranged primary tumors contained insertions in Evi12 as well, which suggests cooperative action of the target genes in these two common VISs in leukemogenesis. By interspecific backcross analysis it was shown that Evi12 resides on mouse chromosome 10 in a region that shares homology with human chromosomes 12q and 19p. Sequence analysis demonstrated that Evi12 is located upstream of the gene encoding the molecular chaperone Tra1/Grp94, which was previously mapped to mouse chromosome 10 and human chromosome 12q22-24. Thus, Tra1/Grp94 is a candidate target gene for retroviral activation or inactivation in Evi12. However, Northern and Western blot analyses did not provide evidence that proviral insertion had altered the expression of Tra1/Grp94. Additional studies are required to determine whether Tra1/Grp94 or another candidate proto-oncogene in Evi12 is involved in leukemogenesis.  (+info)