1887

Abstract

The major immediate-early promoter/enhancer (MIEP, −1139 to +52) of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is regulated by cell type-specific transcriptional factors, its own MIE proteins (IE2p40, IE1p55, IE1p72 and IE2p86) as well as viral proteins pUL69, pUL82 and pUL84. To investigate the hypothesis that the regulation of HCMV MIEP is modulated by additional viral genes, HCMV (AD169) genomic sublibraries were constructed and transient co-transfection assays were performed to assess the ability of these sublibraries to modulate MIEP expression. In this study, enhancement of MIEP expression was exhibited by a number of sublibraries, from one of which a genomic clone was selected for augmentation of expression. Subcloning the insert fragment led to the identification of the responsible locus, UL76. To generate a UL76-specific antibody for immunodetection, the UL76 ORF was constructed as a histidine-tagged fusion protein that was produced in prokaryotic cells. A polyclonal antibody raised against the UL76 fusion protein immunoreacts with a protein of 38 kDa (pUL76) in UL76 ORF-transfected cells. Additionally, pUL76 is present in HCMV-infected cells at the immediate-early to late stages of the reproductive cycle. Characterized by its highly basic composition (predicted pI 11·6), a free form of pUL76 tagged with green fluorescent protein was found to localize exclusively to the nucleus. In this report, pUL76 is defined as a novel regulatory protein that modulates both activation and repression of gene expression, depending on the promoter context and the ratio of transfected effector DNA.

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2000-10-01
2019-10-20
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