BMC molecular biology

Coactivators p300 and PCAF physically and functionally interact with the foamy viral trans-activator.

PMID 15350211


Foamy virus Bel1/Tas trans-activators act as key regulators of gene expression and directly bind to Bel1 response elements (BRE) in both the internal and the 5'LTR promoters leading to strong transcriptional trans-activation. Cellular coactivators interacting with Bel1/Tas are unknown to date. Transient expression assays, co-immunoprecipitation experiments, pull-down assays, and Western blot analysis were used to demonstrate that the coactivator p300 and histone acetyltransferase PCAF specifically interact with the retroviral trans-activator Bel1/Tas in vivo. Here we show that the Bel1/Tas-mediated trans-activation was enhanced by the coactivator p300, histone acetyltransferases PCAF and SRC-1 based on the crucial internal promoter BRE. The Bel1/Tas-interacting region was mapped to the C/H1 domain of p300 by co-immunoprecipitation and pull-down assays. In contrast, coactivator SRC-1 previously reported to bind to the C-terminal domain of p300 did not directly interact with the Bel1 protein but nevertheless enhanced Bel1/Tas-mediated trans-activation. Cotransfection of Bel1/Tas and p300C with an expression plasmid containing the C/H1domain partially inhibited the p300C-driven trans-activation. Our data identify p300 and PCAF as functional partner molecules that directly interact with Bel1/Tas. Since the acetylation activities of the three coactivators reside in or bind to the C-terminal regions of p300, a C/H1 expression plasmid was used as inhibitor. This is the first report of a C/H1 domain-interacting retroviral trans-activator capable of partially blocking the strong Bel1/Tas-mediated activation of the C-terminal region of coactivator p300. The potential mechanisms and functional roles of the three histone and factor acetyltransferases p300, PCAF, and SRC-1 in Bel1/Tas-mediated trans-activation are discussed.