The herpes simplex virus trans-activator VP16 recognizes the Oct-1 homeo domain: evidence for a homeo domain recognition subdomain

Genes Dev. 1991 Dec;5(12B):2555-66. doi: 10.1101/gad.5.12b.2555.


The homeo domain of the Oct-1 transcription factor directs formation of a multiprotein-DNA complex containing Oct-1, the herpes simplex virus (HSV) trans-activator VP16, and a second host cell factor (HCF). This VP16-induced complex alters the regulatory activity of Oct-1, in part, by associating it with the potent VP16 acidic transcriptional activation domain. Here, we show that in the absence of HCF, VP16 can recognize specifically the Oct-1 homeo domain. A region of VP16 near the acidic activation domain appears to be involved exclusively in homeo domain recognition because a 4-amino-acid insertion within this region only affects the ability of VP16 to interact with Oct-1, leaving its DNA- and HCF-binding activities unchanged. A 33-amino-acid peptide containing this region complexes with the Oct-1 POU domain bound to DNA, suggesting that this VP16 region contains an autonomous homeo domain recognition subdomain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Protein Vmw65
  • Host Cell Factor C1
  • Integration Host Factors
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-1
  • Simplexvirus / genetics*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Viral Proteins / genetics*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA, Viral
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Protein Vmw65
  • Host Cell Factor C1
  • Integration Host Factors
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-1
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Viral Proteins