Transcriptional analysis of the adeno-associated virus integration site

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Abstract

The nonpathogenic human adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV-2) has adopted a unique mechanism to site-specifically integrate its genome into the human MBS85 gene, which is embedded in AAVS1 on chromosome 19. The fact that AAV has evolved to integrate into this ubiquitously transcribed region and that the chromosomal motifs required for integration are located a few nucleotides upstream of the translation initiation start codon of MBS85 suggests that the transcriptional activity of MBS85 might influence site-specific integration and thus might be involved in the evolution of this mechanism. In order to begin addressing this question, we initiated the characterization of the human MBS85 promoter region and compared its transcriptional activity to that of the AAV-2 p5 promoter. Our results clearly indicate that AAVS1 is defined by a complex transcriptional environment and that the MBS85 promoter shares key regulatory elements with the viral p5 promoter. Furthermore, we provide evidence for bidirectional MBS85 promoter activity and demonstrate that the minimal motifs required for AAV site-specific integration are present in the 5' untranslated region of the gene and play a posttranscriptional role in the regulation of MBS85 expression. These findings should provide a framework to further elucidate the complex interactions between the virus and its cellular host in this unique pathway to latency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12512 - 12525
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume83
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

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