The adenovirus DNA-binding protein DBP

J Virol. 2024 Feb 20;98(2):e0188523. doi: 10.1128/jvi.01885-23. Epub 2024 Jan 10.


Adenoviruses are a group of double-stranded DNA viruses that can mainly cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, and eye infections in humans. In addition, adenoviruses are employed as vector vaccines for combatting viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2, and serve as excellent gene therapy vectors. These viruses have the ability to modulate the host cell machinery to their advantage and trigger significant restructuring of the nuclei of infected cells through the activity of viral proteins. One of those, the adenovirus DNA-binding protein (DBP), is a multifunctional non-structural protein that is integral to the reorganization processes. DBP is encoded in the E2A transcriptional unit and is highly abundant in infected cells. Its activity is unequivocally linked to the formation, structure, and integrity of virus-induced replication compartments, molecular hubs for the regulation of viral processes, and control of the infected cell. DBP also plays key roles in viral DNA replication, transcription, viral gene expression, and even host range specificity. Notably, post-translational modifications of DBP, such as SUMOylation and extensive phosphorylation, regulate its biological functions. DBP was first investigated in the 1970s, pioneering research on viral DNA-binding proteins. In this literature review, we provide an overview of DBP and specifically summarize key findings related to its complex structure, diverse functions, and significant role in the context of viral replication. Finally, we address novel insights and perspectives for future research.

Keywords: DNA replication; E2A; host range; human adenovirus (HAdV); ssDNA-binding protein; viral replication compartment (RC); virus replication.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae* / physiology
  • Adenoviruses, Human / physiology
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins* / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Viral Proteins* / genetics
  • Viral Proteins* / metabolism
  • Virus Replication


  • DNA, Viral
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Viral Proteins