Characterization of the 55-Residue Protein Encoded by the 9S E1A mRNA of Species C Adenovirus
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Early region 1A (E1A) of human adenovirus (HAdV) has been the focus of over 30 years of investigation and is required for the oncogenic capacity of HAdV in rodents. Alternative splicing of the E1A transcript generates mRNAs encoding multiple E1A proteins. The 55-residue (55R) E1A protein, which is encoded by the 9S mRNA, is particularly interesting due to the unique properties it displays relative to all other E1A isoforms. 55R E1A does not contain any of the conserved regions (CRs) present in the other E1A isoforms. The C-terminal region of the 55R E1A protein contains a unique sequence compared to all other E1A isoforms, which results from a frameshift generated by alternative splicing. The 55R E1A protein is thought to be produced preferentially at the late stages of infection. Here we report the first study to directly investigate the function of the species C HAdV 55R E1A protein during infection. Polyclonal rabbit antibodies (Abs) have been generated that are capable of immunoprecipitating HAdV-2 55R E1A. These Abs can also detect HAdV-2 55R E1A by immunoblotting and indirect immunofluorescence assay. These studies indicate that 55R E1A is expressed late and is localized to the cytoplasm and to the nucleus. 55R E1A was able to activate the expression of viral genes during infection and could also promote productive replication of species C HAdV. 55R E1A was also found to interact with the S8 component of the proteasome, and knockdown of S8 was detrimental to viral replication dependent on 55R E1A.
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