Transforming potential of the adenovirus type 5 E4orf3 protein

M Nevels, B Täuber, E Kremmer, T Spruss, H Wolf, T Dobner

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64 Citations (Scopus)


Previous observations that the adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) E4orf6 and E4orf3 gene products have redundant effects in viral lytic infection together with the recent findings that E4orf6 possesses transforming potential prompted us to investigate the effect of E4orf3 expression on the transformation of primary rat cells in combination with adenovirus E1 oncogene products. Our results demonstrate for the first time that E4orf3 can cooperate with adenovirus E1A and E1A plus E1B proteins to transform primary baby rat kidney cells, acting synergistically with E4orf6 in the presence of E1B gene products. Transformed rat cells expressing E4orf3 exhibit morphological alterations, higher growth rates and saturation densities, and increased tumorigenicity compared with transformants expressing E1 proteins only. Consistent with previous results for adenovirus-infected cells, the E4orf3 protein is immunologically restricted to discrete nuclear structures known as PML oncogenic domains (PODs) in transformed rat cells. As opposed to E4orf6, the ability of E4orf3 to promote oncogenic cell growth is probably not linked to a modulation of p53 functions and stability. Instead, our results indicate that the transforming activities of E4orf3 are due to combinatorial effects that involve the binding to the adenovirus 55-kDa E1B protein and the colocalization with PODs independent from interactions with the PML gene product. These data fit well with a model in which the reorganization of PODs may trigger a cascade of processes that cause uncontrolled cell proliferation and neoplastic growth. In sum, our results provide strong evidence for the idea that interactions with PODs by viral proteins are linked to oncogenic transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1591-600
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1999


  • Adenovirus E1A Proteins
  • Adenovirus E1B Proteins
  • Adenovirus E4 Proteins
  • Adenoviruses, Human
  • Animals
  • Carcinogenicity Tests
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


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