Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus open reading frame (ORF) 50 transactivates K8 and ORF57 promoters via heterogeneous response elements

Mol Cells. 2002 Oct 31;14(2):185-91.


Kaposi's sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) belongs to the human gammaherpesvirus family that undergoes both lytic and latent life cycles in host cells. Open reading frame (ORF) 50 is the most important protein in reactivation to lytic phase and functions as a strong transcriptional activator of the early and late genes of KSHV. Since transactivation of promoters by ORF50 is achieved via response elements, we have attempted to identify ORF50 response elements in K8 and ORF57 promoters of KSHV by transient transfection assays with deletion mutants. Our data reveal that specific regions within the K8 (74661-74760) and ORF57 (81851-81931) promoters contain ORF50 response elements, which are heterogeneous, unlike those of Epstein-Barr virus and Herpesvirus saimiri. We additionally identify an AP-1 binding site at the ORF57 promoter between 81882 and 81889, and show that AP-1 participates in ORF57 promoter activation by ORF50. Our findings collectively indicate that ORF50 activates various viral proteins through both direct binding and cellular transcriptional factor-mediated mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / genetics
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / metabolism*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / metabolism
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*


  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • K8 protein, Human herpesvirus 8
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Rta protein, Human herpesvirus 8
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Viral Proteins