We examined the effect of human foamy virus (HFV) infection on the expression of human major histocompatibility complex molecules. Our data show that HFV infection of U373-MG glioblastoma cells results in increased expression of class I human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and transcripts. Transient transfection assays of plasmids containing the reporter gene chloramphenicol acetyl transferase driven by different 5′ deletions of the HLA-A11 class I promoter allowed identification of -acting elements involved in this regulation. HFV infection has two opposite effects on the HLA class I promoter: transactivation of the HLA-A11 promoter through a positive regulatory element located in the -525 to -335 region upstream of exon 1 and down-regulation of transcriptional activity driven by the -335 to -205 class I promoter region. Additional experimental data indicate that the effect of HFV on HLA class I expression is not mediated by the interferon pathway.


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