1887

Abstract

In tumour cell lines established from Marek's disease (MD) lymphomas L- is consistently expressed. It contains a 180 bp insertion encoding additional copies of the proline-rich repeat in the open reading frame and its product may contribute to the maintenance of MD virus (MDV) latency. In this study, we identified a novel spliced form of the transcript in MD-derived lymphoblastoid cell lines and in MDV-infected cells. This transcript, termed Δ, encodes an N-terminal 98 aa of the Meq protein and lacks part of the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) and transactivation domains. In MD cell lines, transcription of L- was significantly downregulated, while that of the Δ transcript was upregulated during apoptosis. These observations were also confirmed at the protein expression level. Reporter assays using - and ()-promoter-driven luciferase vectors revealed that ΔMeq suppressed transactivation by L-Meq or Meq in a dose-dependent manner. Immunoprecipitation confirmed that ΔMeq was associated with L-Meq or Meq physically. These results suggest that ΔMeq could be involved in apoptosis in MD cell lines as it works as a negative regulator of L-Meq and Meq by direct interaction.

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2007-08-01
2019-10-22
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