Oncogenic potential of the adenovirus E4orf6 protein

Mary Moore, Nobuo Horikoshi, Thomas Shenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


The group C adenovirus E4orf6 protein has previously been shown to bind to the p53 cellular tumor suppressor protein and block its ability to activate transcription. Here we show that the E4orf6 protein blocks the induction of p53-mediated apoptosis when AT6 cells, which harbor a temperature-sensitive p53, are shifted to the permissive temperature. The E4orf6 protein does not, however, prevent the induction of apoptosis in p53- deficient H1299 cells by treatment with tumor necrosis factor α and cycloheximide. The E4orf6 protein also cooperates with the adenovirus E1A protein to transform primary baby rat kidney cells, and it cooperates with the adenovirus E1A plus E1B 19-kDa and E1B 55-kDa proteins to increase the number of baby rat kidney cell transformants and enhance the rate at which they arise. The level of p53 is substantially reduced in transformed cells expressing the E4orf6 protein in comparison to adenovirus transformants lacking it. The E4orf6 gene also accelerates tumor formation when transformed baby rat kidney cells are injected subcutaneously into the nude mouse, and it converts human 293 cells from nontumorigenic to tumorigenic in nude mice. In addition to the well-studied E1A and E1B oncogenes, group C adenoviruses harbor a third oncogene, E4orf6, which functions in some respects similarly to the E1B oncogene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11295-11301
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 15 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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