1887

Abstract

Rta, mainly encoded by open reading frame 50 (ORF50), is the product of an immediate-early gene of human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8)/Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. Rta is a transcriptional activator that is both necessary and sufficient to disrupt viral latency and activate the expression of downstream viral lytic genes. We report that ectopically expressed Rta protein could also activate the promoter on a reporter plasmid up to 144-fold, both in latently infected B cells and in uninfected epithelial cells, and that this activation was dose-dependent. Furthermore, by analysing the 5′ untranslated region using ribonuclease protection assays, we demonstrated that transfection of an Rta expression plasmid into latently infected cells activated the expression of transcripts from endogenous viral genomes. We propose that auto-activation of the immediate-early gene, , is an important strategy for HHV-8 to effectively respond to environmental stimuli and maximally activate the virus lytic cycle.

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2000-12-01
2019-10-20
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