The non-coding region (NCR) of the epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV)-associated human papillomavirus 8 (HPV-8) has been investigated for sequence-specific DNA-protein interactions with nuclear proteins from epithelial HeLa cells. Using DNase I protection analysis 18 footprints could be found within the HPV-8 NCR, covering altogether over 60% of both DNA strands. Several footprints coincided with the known binding sites of transcription factors (NF1, AP1, octamer and PEA3 consensus sequences); the other displayed no obvious similarities in this regard. The overall distribution of sequences involved in DNA-protein interactions differed clearly from the binding patterns reported for other HPVs. Parts of the two binding sites for the viral trans-activator protein E2 were shown to interact with non-E2 factors. The EV-specific NCR motifs M33, M29 and A/T box were all involved in protein binding. By comparing the footprints within the respective motifs of the closely related types HPV-8 and -19, quantitative and qualitative differences were detected for M33 and the A/T box.


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