The long control region (LCR) of bovine papilloma-virus type 4 demonstrated enhancer activity when cloned upstream of a bacterial chloramphenicol acetyl-transferase reporter gene under thymidine kinase promoter control. Deletion analysis of the LCR revealed the presence of several positive and negative control elements, all of which could function independently of the viral E2 trans-activator. Each of the three positive elements present appeared to be paired with a negative element which modulated its activity. DNase I footprinting was used to identify protein binding sites within the LCR, which might represent these control elements. The results suggest a highly complex and finely tuned control of viral gene expression.


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