The immediate early (IE) enhancer/promoter regions of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), simian cytomegalovirus (SCMV), and murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) share the following characteristics: (1) they demonstrate high-level transcriptional properties, (2) multiple repetitive elements are found throughout the enhancer region, and (3) consensus binding sites for cellular transcription factors are frequently located within the repetitive elements. Here we characterize the enhancer/promoter region of the major IE gene locus for rat cytomegalovirus (RCMV). The RCMV IE enhancer/promoter region is able to activate transcription at the same level as HCMV or MCMV IE enhancer/promoter regions. In contrast to HCMV, MCMV, and SCMV, the RCMV IE enhancer/promoter region is almost completely lacking in repetitive elements and the only recognized consensus binding sites for cellular transcription factors recognized by sequence are three CTF, two AP1, and one NF-κB binding sites. However, enhancing activity does not appear to be dependent on these individual sites in transient transfection experiments, but is additive across the enhancer region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas