Isolation and characterization of insertion mutants in E1A of adenovirus type 5
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We have constructed a series of insertion mutations at 18 sites in the coding sequences of early region 1A (E1A) of human adenovirus type 5 (Ad5). At each site we have introduced three types of mutation: a 39-bp insertion specifying a 13-aa residue oligopeptide, a 39-bp insertion containing chain termination codons in all three reading frames, and a "collapsed" insert of 6-bp forming a conventional linker insertion mutation. All mutants were sequenced to determine the precise location, structure, and orientation of the inserts. The mutants were assayed for their abilities to trans-activate and to repress using transient expression assays in HeLa cells cotransfected with the E1A mutant plasmids and a reporter plasmid containing the bacterial beta-galactosidase (lac Z) gene under the control of Ad5 early promoters. The mutants were also tested for their ability to transform baby rat kidney cells in cooperation with either E1B or the ras oncogene. Each mutant was rescued into virus and infectivity was compared in HeLa and 293 cells. In addition, E1A protein synthesis was analyzed in cells infected with the mutant viruses and the insertions were found to have pronounced but unpredictable effects on electrophoretic mobility of E1A proteins in SDS-polyacrylamide gels. The results of functional assays indicated that only mutations mapping in, or deleting, the unique region of the 13 S mRNA product had any effect on ability to trans-activate and that a perfect correlation existed between ability of a mutant to trans-activate and to replicate efficiently in HeLa cells or to transform baby rat kidney cells in an E1A plus E1B mediated assay. In contrast, insertions near conserved region 2 of exon I and in the NH2-terminal portion of exon II significantly reduced repression activity but left transforming activity with E1B or with ras essentially unaffected suggesting that the repression function of E1A is separate from, or at least nonessential in, transformation.
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