Mechanisms of leukemogenesis induced by bovine leukemia virus: prospects for novel anti-retroviral therapies in human
Although the mechanism by which bovine leukemia virus (BLV) induces neoplastic transformation of the host B cells is unknown, it is likely that critical interactions between cellular DNA-binding proteins and the virus are involved. We have used DNase I protection (footprinting) assays to construct a map of protein-DNA interactions on the 5' long terminal repeat of BLV. In addition to the three cyclic AMP response elements previously reported, we have also found an NF-kappa B binding site between -118 and -70 nucleotides upstream of the RNA start site. This site binds several members of the kappa B family of proteins, including p49, p50, and p65, in both footprint and electrophoretic mobility shift assays and functions as an enhancer element when inserted upstream of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene. NF-kappa B may be a critical nuclear binding protein that regulates both viral replication and key cellular genes in BLV-infected B cells.