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Members of the GATA Family of Transcription Factors Bind to the U3 Region of Cas-Br-E and Graffi Retroviruses and Transactivate Their Expression

  • Corinne Barat
  • Eric Rassart
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Jul 01, 1998
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Cas-Br-E and Graffi are two murine viruses that induce myeloid leukemia in mice: while Cas-Br-E induces mostly non-T, non-B leukemia composed of very immature cells, Graffi causes exclusively a granulocytic leukemia (E. Rassart, J. Houde, C. Denicourt, M. Ru, C. Barat, E. Edouard, L. Poliquin, and D. Bergeron, Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immunol. 211:201–210, 1995). In an attempt to understand the basis of the myeloid specificity of these two retroviruses, we used DNase I footprinting analysis and gel mobility shift assays to identify a number of protein binding sites within the Cas-Br-E and Graffi U3 regions. Two protected regions include potential GATA binding sites. Methylation interference analysis with different hematopoietic nuclear extracts showed the importance of the G residues in these GATA sites, and supershift assays clearly identified the binding factors as GATA-1, GATA-2, and GATA-3. Transient assays with long terminal repeat (LTR)-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase constructs showed that these three GATA family members are indeed able to transactivate Cas-Br-E and Graffi LTRs. Thus, the availability and relative abundance of the various members of the GATA family of transcription factors in a given cell type could influence the transcriptional tissue specificity of murine leukemia viruses and hence their disease specificity.

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