The human foamy virus Bel-1 transcription factor is a sequence-specific DNA binding protein.
The Bel-1 transcriptional transactivator encoded by human foamy virus (HFV) can efficiently activate gene expression directed by both the HFV long terminal repeat (LTR) and internal (Int) promoter elements. By DNA footprinting and gel retardation analysis, we demonstrate that Bel-1 can specifically bind to discrete sites in both the LTR and Int promoter elements in vitro. However, transactivation of the HFV LTR by Bel-1 was observed to require not only the promoter-proximal Bel-1 binding site identified in vitro but also additional promoter-distal sequences. These data suggest that Bel-1 binding is necessary but not sufficient for efficient transactivation of Bel-1-responsive promoters in mammalian cells and therefore raise the possibility that Bel-1 function may require the action of a cellular DNA binding protein(s). Importantly, these data demonstrate that Bel-1 is unique among retroviral regulatory proteins in being a sequence-specific DNA binding protein.
He, F; Blair, WS; Fukushima, J; Cullen, BR
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