Deletion analysis of both the long terminal repeat and the internal promoters of the human foamy virus

Ping Yang, Motomi Zemba, Mordechai Aboud, Rolf M. Flügel, Martin Löchelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Deletion analyses of the long terminal repeat (LTR) and internal promoters (IP) of human foamy virus (HFV) showed that a negative acting element resides in the U5 region of the 5' LTR reducing reporter gene expression tenfold. The basal activity of the IP was higher than that obtained with LTR promoter constructs and strongly elevated in permissive BHK-21 cells whereas semi-permissive COS-7 cells showed low basal activity. Since the basal activity of the IP is critical for initiating HFV gene expression by providing Bel 1 transactivator early after infection, the basal activity of the IP may be the crucial factor that contributes to whether cells are permissive for HFV infection or not. Deletion mutagenesis allowed to define the minimal IP region. A region strongly transactivated by Bel 1 extends from -136 to +58 relative to the cap site of the IP. The major Bel 1 response element of the IP required for transactivation is located upstream of the cap site between -136 and -88 relative to the internal cap site. A DNA fragment reported to be protected by recombinant Bel 1 was deleted with marginal reduction of Bel 1 transactivation. HFV gene expression directed by the IP and LTR promoters is thus multiply regulated by positive and negative acting response elements in cis and their binding partners in trans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalVirus Genes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 Oct 1997


  • Bel 1
  • Spumaretrovirus
  • Transactivator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


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