Chick cells infected by chick embryo lethal orphan (CELO) virus (fowl adenovirus type 1) contained four prominent virus-specific, structurally related DNA-binding proteins with mol. wt. of 74K, 64K, 56K, 52K, and two minor forms. The CELO virus DNA-binding proteins were phosphorylated, delayed-early nuclear proteins. CELO virus early proteins were expressed in BHK cells, but did not complement human adenovirus type 5 mutants with lesions in E1A, E2A or E2B. Moreover, CELO virus DNA-binding proteins were not produced in 293 cells, which express human adenovirus E1 genes. These results suggest that activation of transcription by adenovirus E1A genes involves specific interactions between the E1A gene products and viral early promoters.


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