Cellular transcription factors enhance herpes simplex virus type 1 oriS-dependent DNA replication

Anh Tuan Nguyen-Huynh, Priscilla A. Schaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) origin of DNA replication, oriS, contains three binding sites for the vital origin binding protein (OBP) flanked by transcriptional regulatory elements of the immediate-early genes encoding ICP4 and ICP22/47. To assess the role of flanking sequences in oriS function, plasmids containing oils and either wild-type or mutant flanking sequences were tested in transient DNA replication assays. Although the ICP4 and ICP22/47 regulatory regions were shown to enhance oriS function, most individual elements in these regions, including the VP16- responsive TAATGARAT elements, were found to be dispensable for oriS function. In contrast, two oriS core-adjacent regulatory (Oscar) elements, OscarL and OscarR, at the base of the oriS palindrome were shown to enhance oriS function significantly and additively. Specifically, mutational disruption of either element reduced oriS-dependent DNA replication by 60 to 70%, and disruption of both elements reduced replication by 90%. The properties of protein-DNA complexes formed in gel mobility shift assays using uninfected and HSV-1-infected Vero cell nuclear extracts demonstrated that both OscarL and OscarR are binding sites for cellular proteins. Whereas OscarR does not correspond to the consensus binding site of any known transcription factor, OscarL contains a consensus binding site for the transcription factor Sp1. Gel mobility shift and supershift experiments using antibodies directed against members of the Sp1 family of transcription factors demonstrated the presence of Sp1 and Sp3, but not Sp2 or Sp4, in the protein-DNA complexes formed at OscarL. The abilities of OscarL and OscarR to bind their respective cellular proteins correlated directly with the efficiency of oriS-dependent DNA replication. Cooperative interactions between the Oscar-binding factors and proteins binding to adjacent OBP binding sites were not observed. Notably, Oscar element mutations that impaired oriS-dependent DNA replication had no detectable effect on either basal or induced levels of transcription from the ICP4 and ICP22/47 promoters, as determined by RNase protection assays. The Oscar elements thus appear to provide binding sites for cellular proteins that facilitate oriS- dependent DNA replication but have no effect on transcription of oriS- flanking genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3635-3645
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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