Simian virus 40 strains with novel properties generated by replacing the viral enhancer with synthetic oligonucleotides.
ABSTRACT: Typical enhancers of viral or cellular genes are approximately 100 to 400 bp long and contain several transcription factor binding sites. Previously, we have shown that simian virus 40 (SV40) genomic DNA that lacks its own enhancer can be used as an "enhancer trap" since it reacquires infectivity upon incorporation of heterologous enhancers. Here, we show that SV40 infectivity can be restored with synthetic enhancers that are assembled by the host cell. We found that several oligonucleotides, cotransfected with enhancerless SV40 DNA into host cells, were incorporated into the viral genome via cellular DNA end joining. The oligonucleotides tested included metal response elements (MREs), the binding sites for the transcription factor MTF-1, which induces gene activity in response to heavy metals. These recombinant SV40 strains showed preferential growth on cells overloaded with zinc or cadmium. We also cotransfected enhancerless SV40 DNA with oligonucleotides corresponding to enhancer motifs of human and mouse cytomegalovirus (HCMV and MCMV, respectively). In contrast to SV40 wild type, the viruses with cytomegalovirus-derived patchwork enhancers strongly expressed T-antigen in human HEK293 cells, accompanied by viral DNA replication. Occasionally, we also observed the assembly of functional viral genomes by incorporation of fragments of bovine DNA, an ingredient of the fetal calf serum in the medium. These fragments contained, among other sites, binding sites for AP-1 and CREB transcription factors. Taken together, our studies show that viruses with novel properties can be generated by intracellular incorporation of synthetic enhancer DNA motifs.
Project description:We show that the cell cycle-regulated transcription of the TATA-less cdc25C gene in late S/G2 is largely mediated by a novel promoter element (CDE) located directly 5' to one of the two major transcription initiation sites. Genomic dimethylsulfate footprinting experiments, using either synchronized or sorted normally cycling cells, show the formation in vivo of a CDE-protein complex in both G0 and G1 cells and its dissociation in G2. Mutation of the CDE severely impairs cell cycle regulation of the cdc25C promoter and results in high expression in G0/G1, indicating that the CDE functions as a cell cycle-regulated cis-acting repressor element. Cell cycle regulation is also lost upon removal of the enhancer region located immediately upstream of the CDE, but is largely restored when this enhancerless minimal cdc25C promoter fragment is linked to the constitutive SV40 early enhancer. This indicates that the CDE is dependent on the presence of a transcriptional enhancer to effect cell cycle regulation. Our observations suggest that the periodic activation of the cdc25C gene in late S/G2 is brought about, at least in part, by a unique regulatory mechanism involving the cell cycle-regulated dissociation of a repressor from the CDE.
Project description:Methods to improve plasmid-mediated transgene expression are needed for gene medicine and gene vaccination applications. To maintain a low risk of insertional mutagenesis-mediated gene activation, expression-augmenting sequences would ideally function to improve transgene expression from transiently transfected intact plasmid, but not from spurious genomically integrated vectors. We report herein the development of potent minimal, antibiotic-free, high-manufacturing-yield mammalian expression vectors incorporating rationally designed additive combinations of expression enhancers. The SV40 72?bp enhancer incorporated upstream of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) enhancer selectively improved extrachromosomal transgene expression. The human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) R region, incorporated downstream of the CMV promoter, dramatically increased mRNA translation efficiency, but not overall mRNA levels, after transient transfection. A similar mRNA translation efficiency increase was observed with plasmid vectors incorporating and expressing the protein kinase R-inhibiting adenoviral viral associated (VA)1 RNA. Strikingly, HTLV-I R and VA1 did not increase transgene expression or mRNA translation efficiency from plasmid DNA after genomic integration. The vector platform, when combined with electroporation delivery, further increased transgene expression and improved HIV-1 gp120 DNA vaccine-induced neutralizing antibody titers in rabbits. These antibiotic-free vectors incorporating transient expression enhancers are safer, more potent alternatives to improve transgene expression for DNA therapy or vaccination.
Project description:We have studied the effect of the SV40 T antigen on expression from human globin promoters fused to the bacterial chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene and compared its effect with the SV40 enhancer and the adenovirus E1A protein. We have observed that expression of p epsilon GLCAT and p beta GLCAT (the epsilon-globin or beta-globin promoter linked to the CAT gene) was significantly stimulated when cotransfected with a cloned T antigen plasmid into CV-1 cells, indicating that trans-activation of the globin promoters was mediated by SV40 T antigen. Transfection of the p beta GLCAT-SV (p beta GLCAT containing the SV40 enhancer element) into CV-1 cells resulted in a 50-60-fold increase in CAT activity as compared to p beta GLCAT (no enhancer). However, cotransfection of the p beta GLCAT-SV with the cloned T antigen resulted in an additional increase of CAT expression, which suggests that T antigen and the SV40 enhancer activate globin gene expression independently. We found that T antigen but not E1A could further stimulate the expression of an enhancer-containing plasmid in CV-1 cells; whereas E1A but not T antigen could further stimulate p epsilon GLCAT expression in COS-1 cells which constitutively express the SV40 T antigen. These results suggest that T antigen and E1A also act independently. Deletion analysis showed that the minimum sequence required for a detectable level of stimulation of the epsilon-globin promoter by T antigen is 177 bp 5' to the cap site, suggesting that the target sequences for response to T antigen do not reside in the canonical 100 bp promoter region, but rather reside in sequences further upstream, and therefore the cellular factors interacting with T antigen are not the TATA or CAT box binding proteins, but the proteins interacting with upstream regulatory sequences.
Project description:A method is described for selection of DNA clones that contain enhancer sequences that activate gene expression. An Escherichia coli-rodent cell shuttle vector, pPyE0, was used that contains polyoma viral DNA without the polyoma enhancer region. Replication of pPyE0 DNA in mouse cells is markedly reduced due to deletion of the polyoma enhancer region. Insertion of mouse genomic DNA fragments that contain putative enhancer sequences into pPyE0 adjacent to the polyoma origin of replication restored, to varying extents, the ability of the recombinant plasmid DNA to replicate in mouse cells. Recombinant plasmids that replicate well in mouse cells, therefore, are amplified selectively. Transfection of mouse neuroblastoma or fibroblast cells that constitutively synthesize polyoma large tumor antigen with a library of mouse genomic DNA fragments inserted in pPyE0 yielded many recombinant plasmids. DNA inserts from each of the 16 clones that were examined stimulated the expression of an enhancerless chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene. The DNA inserts from 4 clones that were studied resulted in 4- to 13-fold increases in chloramphenicol acetyltransferase mRNA in transfected mouse cells. Nucleotide sequence analysis led to the identification of 5 genomic DNA clones that were obtained by selection. All of the homologies found were to regions of DNA that are thought to be involved in the regulation of gene expression.
Project description:Polyomaviruses are a family of small DNA tumor viruses that includes several pathogenic human members, including Merkel cell polyomavirus, BK virus and JC virus. As is characteristic of DNA tumor viruses, gene expression in polyomaviruses is temporally regulated into an early phase, consisting of the viral regulatory proteins, and a late phase, consisting of the viral structural proteins. Previously, the late transcripts expressed by the prototypic polyomavirus simian virus 40 (SV40) were reported to contain several adenosines bearing methyl groups at the N6 position (m6A), although the precise location of these m6A residues, and their phenotypic effects, have not been investigated. Here, we first demonstrate that overexpression of the key m6A reader protein YTHDF2 induces more rapid viral replication, and larger viral plaques, in SV40 infected BSC40 cells, while mutational inactivation of the endogenous YTHDF2 gene, or the m6A methyltransferase METTL3, has the opposite effect, thus suggesting a positive role for m6A in the regulation of SV40 gene expression. To directly test this hypothesis, we mapped sites of m6A addition on SV40 transcripts and identified two m6A sites on the viral early transcripts and eleven m6A sites on the late mRNAs. Using synonymous mutations, we inactivated the majority of the m6A sites on the SV40 late mRNAs and observed that the resultant viral mutant replicated more slowly than wild type SV40. Alternative splicing of SV40 late mRNAs was unaffected by the reduction in m6A residues and our data instead suggest that m6A enhances the translation of viral late transcripts. Together, these data argue that the addition of m6A residues to the late transcripts encoded by SV40 plays an important role in enhancing viral gene expression and, hence, replication.
Project description:SV40 (simian virus 40)-infected CV1 cells were permeabilized with Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin for small molecules (<2 kDa) in a medium that supports DNA replication. Incorporation of [alpha-32P]dATP was shown to proceed at an essentially constant rate for at least 1 h. 32P-labelled DNA replication intermediates and products were analysed by alkaline sucrose density centrifugation. The results suggested that SV40 DNA replication in alpha-toxin-permeabilized CV1 cells occurred essentially as in vivo. After bromodeoxyuridine 5'-triphosphate-labelling and isopycnic banding, significant amounts of DNA density-labelled in both strands were detected from 110 min of permeabilization onwards, indicating repeated rounds of viral DNA replication in the permeabilized cells. Incubation of permeabilized SV40-infected cells under hypoxic culture conditions caused inhibition of SV40 DNA replication. As seen in unpermeabilized cells, SV40 DNA replication was inhibited at the stage of initiation. The inhibition of DNA replication induced by hypoxia was mimicked by AA (antimycin A), an inhibitor of mitochondrial respiration, and also by the replacement of glutamate, a substrate of mitochondrial respiration, by Hepes in the permeabilization medium. Inhibition of DNA replication was not mediated by intracellular ATP depletion. AA also inhibited SV40 DNA replication in unpermeabilized, normoxically incubated cells. Moreover, as in hypoxically incubated cells, the addition of glucose to SV40-infected cells incubated for several hours with AA induced a burst of new initiations followed by a nearly synchronous round of viral DNA replication. Taken together, these results indicate that mitochondria are involved in the oxygen-dependent regulation of SV40 DNA replication.
Project description:Transcriptional enhancers are short segments of DNA that switch genes on and off in response to a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic signals. Despite the discovery of the first enhancer more than 30 y ago, the relationship between primary DNA sequence and enhancer activity remains obscure. In particular, the importance of "syntax" (the order, orientation, and spacing of binding sites) is unclear. A high-throughput screen identified synthetic notochord enhancers that are activated by the combination of ZicL and ETS transcription factors in Ciona embryos. Manipulation of these enhancers elucidated a "regulatory code" of sequence and syntax features for notochord-specific expression. This code enabled in silico discovery of bona fide notochord enhancers, including those containing low-affinity binding sites that would be excluded by standard motif identification methods. One of the newly identified enhancers maps upstream of the known enhancer that regulates Brachyury (Ci-Bra), a key determinant of notochord specification. This newly identified Ci-Bra shadow enhancer contains binding sites with very low affinity, but optimal syntax, and therefore mediates surprisingly strong expression in the notochord. Weak binding sites are compensated by optimal syntax, whereas enhancers containing high-affinity binding affinities possess suboptimal syntax. We suggest this balance has obscured the importance of regulatory syntax, as noncanonical binding motifs are typically disregarded by enhancer detection methods. As a result, enhancers with low binding affinities but optimal syntax may be a vastly underappreciated feature of the regulatory genome.
Project description:Simian virus 40 (SV40) DNAs in brain tissue and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of eight simian immunodeficiency virus-infected rhesus monkeys with SV40 brain disease were analyzed. We report the detection, cloning, and identification of five new SV40 strains following a quadruple testing-verification strategy. SV40 genomes with archetypal regulatory regions (containing a duplication within the G/C-rich regulatory region segment and a single 72-bp enhancer element) were recovered from seven animal brains, two tissues of which also contained viral genomes with nonarchetypal regulatory regions (containing a duplication within the G/C-rich regulatory region segment as well as a variable duplication within the enhancer region). In contrast, PBMC DNAs from five of six animals had viral genomes with both regulatory region types. It appeared, based on T-antigen variable-region sequences, that nonarchetypal virus variants arose de novo within each animal. The eighth animal exclusively yielded a new type of SV40 strain (SV40-K661), containing a protoarchetypal regulatory region (lacking a duplication within the G/C-rich segment of the regulatory region and containing one 72-bp element in the enhancer region), from both brain tissue and PBMCs. The presence of SV40 in PBMCs suggests that hematogenous spread of viral infection may occur. An archetypal version of a virus similar to SV40 reference strain 776 (a kidney isolate) was recovered from one brain, substantiating the idea that SV40 is neurotropic as well as kidney-tropic. Indirect evidence suggests that maternal-infant transmission of SV40 may have occurred in one animal. These findings provide new insights for human polyomavirus disease.
Project description:Most of the simian virus 40 (SV40) genome is conserved among isolates, but the noncoding regulatory region and the genomic region encoding the large T-antigen C terminus (T-ag-C) may exhibit considerable variation. We demonstrate here that SV40 isolates differ in their oncogenic potentials in Syrian golden hamsters. Experimental animals were inoculated intraperitoneally with 10(7) PFU of parental or recombinant SV40 viruses and were observed for 12 months to identify genetic determinants of oncogenicity. The viral regulatory region was found to exert a statistically significant influence on tumor incidence, whereas the T-ag-C played a minor role. Viruses with a single enhancer (1E) were more oncogenic than those with a two-enhancer (2E) structure. Rearrangements in the 1E viral regulatory region were detected in 4 of 60 (6.7%) tumors. Viral loads in tumors varied, with a median of 5.4 SV40 genome copies per cell. Infectious SV40 was rescued from 15 of 37 (40%) cell lines established from tumors. Most hamsters with tumors and many without tumors produced antibodies to T antigen. All viruses displayed similar transforming frequencies in vitro, suggesting that differences in oncogenic potential in vivo were due to host responses to viral infection. This study shows that SV40 strains differ in their biological properties, suggests that SV40 replicates to some level in hamsters, and indicates that the outcome of an SV40 infection may depend on the viral strain present.
Project description:Acetylation of the histone variant H2A.Z (H2A.Zac) occurs at active promoters and is associated with oncogene activation in prostate cancer, but its role in enhancer function is still poorly understood. Here we show that H2A.Zac containing nucleosomes are commonly redistributed to neo-enhancers in cancer resulting in a concomitant gain of chromatin accessibility and ectopic gene expression. Notably incorporation of acetylated H2A.Z nucleosomes is a pre-requisite for activation of Androgen receptor (AR) associated enhancers. H2A.Zac nucleosome occupancy is rapidly remodeled to flank the AR sites to initiate the formation of nucleosome-free regions and the production of AR-enhancer RNAs upon androgen treatment. Remarkably higher levels of global H2A.Zac correlate with poorer prognosis. Altogether these data demonstrate the novel contribution of H2A.Zac in activation of newly formed enhancers in prostate cancer.