Adenovirus E1A protein activates transcription of the E1A gene subsequent to transcription complex formation

J. Schaack, J. Logan, E. Vakalopoulou, T. Shenk

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3 Scopus citations


The mechanism of transcriptional activation of the adenovirus E1A and E3 genes by E1A protein during infection was examined by using transcription-competition assays. Infection of HeLa cells with one virus led to inhibition of mRNA accumulation from a superinfecting virus. Synthesis of the E1A 289R protein by the first virus to infect reduced inhibition of transcription of the superinfecting virus, indicating that the E1A 289R protein was limiting for E1A-activated transcription. Infection with an E1A- virus, followed 6 h later by superinfection with a wild-type virus, led to preferential transcriptional activation of the E1A gene of the first virus, suggesting that a host transcription component(s) stably associated with the E1A promoter in the absence of E1A protein and that this complex was the substrate for transcriptional activation by E1A protein. The limiting host transcription component(s) bound to the E1A promoter to form a complex with a half-life greater than 24 h in the absence of E1A 289R protein, as demonstrated in a challenge assay with a large excess of superinfecting virus. In the presence of the E1A 289R protein, the E1A gene of the superinfecting virus was gradually activated with a reduction in E1A mRNA accumulation from the first virus. The kinetics of the activation suggest that this was due to an indirect effect rather than to destabilization of stable transcription complexes by the 289R protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1687-1694
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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