Octamer transcription factor-1 (OTF-1) and nuclear factor III (NF-III) are sequence specific DNA binding proteins that activate transcription and DNA replication, respectively. It is shown here that OTF-1 is physically and biologically indistinguishable from NF-III. This conclusion is based on the following observations. First, the two proteins have identical mobilities by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Second, OTF-1 binds to the adenovirus origin of DNA replication at the same site and with the same affinity as NF-III. Third, OTF-1 can substitute for NF-III in activating the initiation of adenovirus DNA replication in vitro. Fourth, the ability of OTF-1 to stimulate viral DNA replication is dependent on the presence of an intact NF-III binding site within the origin of replication. Fifth, NF-III can substitute for OTF-1 in activating in vitro transcription from the human histone H2b promoter. These data suggest the possibility that NF-III/OTF-1 is a protein that functions in both cellular DNA replication and transcription.
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