Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1993

Publication Title

Journal of Virology

Abstract

Simian virus 40 (SV40) large T antigen is a multifunctional protein which plays central roles during both lytic and transforming infections by SV40. It is a potent transcriptional activator and increases expression from the SV40 late promoter and from several cellular promoters. To understand better the transcriptional activation activity of large T antigen, we examined its ability to transactivate a set of simple modular promoters containing one of four upstream activation sequences coupled with one of three different TATA box sequences originally constructed and studied by Taylor and Kingston (Mol. Cell. Biol. 10:165-175, 1990). Large T antigen activated transcription from all of these simple promoters. The identity of the TATA box was a more important determinant of the final level of gene expression than was the identity of the upstream activating sequence element. We also determined the ability of a set of mutant SV40 large T antigens to activate a subset of these promoters. Several mutant SV40 large T antigens which had reduced ability to activate the complex SV40 late and Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat promoters showed reduced transcriptional activation activity on all of the modular promoters tested. We used a set of promoter derivatives of the human U6 small nuclear RNA promoter containing different TATA boxes and found that wild-type large T antigen could activate transcription from all of them, although to widely different levels of expression.

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