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pRB-Dependent, J Domain-Independent Function of Simian Virus 40 Large T Antigen in Override of p53 Growth Suppression

American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
  • Virus-Cell Interactions
  • Biology


Simian virus 40 (SV40) large T antigen (LT) can immortalize and transform many cell types. These activities are attributed in large part to the binding and functional inactivation by LT of two major tumor suppressors: p53 and the retinoblastoma protein, pRB. Most effects of LT on pRB have been shown to additionally require an intact J domain, which mediates binding to Hsc70. We show here that the J domain is not required for p53 override in full-length LT. Although LT binds p53, it was shown previously that overcoming a p53-induced cell cycle arrest requires binding to pRB family members (R. S. Quartin et al., J. Virol. 68:1334–1341). We demonstrate that an LT mutant defective for pRB family member binding (K1) can be complemented for efficient override of p53 arrest by a construct encoding the first 135 amino acids of LT with a J domain-inactivating mutation, H42Q. Hence, complementation does not require the J domain, and pRB binding by LT is important for more than dissociating pRB-E2F complexes, which is J dependent. In accordance with this notion, LT alleviates pRB small-pocket-mediated transcriptional repression independently of the J domain. The LT K1 mutant can also be complemented for p53 override by small t antigen (st) in a manner independent of its J domain. Our observations underscore the importance of multiple SV40 functions, two in LT and one in st, that act cooperatively to counteract p53 growth suppression.

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