EHV-1 EICP22 protein sequences that mediate its physical interaction with the immediate-early protein are not sufficient to enhance the trans-activation activity of the IE protein

Wilbert A. Derbigny, Seong K. Kim, Hyung K. Jang, Dennis J. O'Callaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


The early 293 amino acid EICP22 protein (EICP22P) of equine herpesvirus 1 localizes within the nucleus and functions as an accessory regulatory protein (J. Virol. 68 (1994) 4329). Transient transfection assays indicated that although the EICP22P by itself only minimally trans-activates EHV-1 promoters, the EICP22P functions synergistically with the immediate-early protein (IEP) to enhance expression of EHV-1 early genes (J. Virol. 71 (1997) 1004). We previously showed that the EICP22 protein enhances the DNA-binding activity of the EHV-1 IEP and that it also physically interacts with the IEP (J. Virol. 74 (2000) 1425). In this communication, we employed transient trans-activation assays utilizing EICP22P deletion mutants to address whether the sequences required for EICP22P-IEP physical interactions are essential for EICP22P's ability to interact synergistically with the IEP. Assays employing various classes of the EHV-1 promoters fused to the chloramphenicol acetyl-transferase (CAT) reporter gene indicated that: (1) neither full length nor any of the EICP22P mutants tested was able to overcome repression of the IE promoter elicited by the IEP, (2) the full-length EICP22P interacted synergistically with the IEP to trans-activate the early and late promoters tested, and (3) all of the EICP22P mutants, including those that were able to physically interact with IEP and itself, failed to function synergistically with the IEP to trans-activate representative EHV-1 early and late promoters. The results suggest that EICP22P sequences required for its interaction with the IE protein are not sufficient to mediate its synergistic effect on the trans-activation function of the IEP. The possible explanations as to why sequences in addition to those that mediate EICP22P-IEP interaction and EICP22P self-interactions are essential for the synergistic function of EICP22P are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 20 2002



  • EICP22 protein
  • Equine herpesvirus 1
  • IE protein
  • Trans-Activation function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this