We have examined the role of the human papovavirus BK virus (BKV) tumor (T) antigen(s) in the maintenance of transformation and have identified the domain of T antigen essential for transformation. BKV-transformed BHK 21 and NIH 3T3 cells expressing antisense T-antigen RNA lose their ability to grow in soft agar, indicating the need for continued expression of T antigen for the maintenance of the transformed phenotype. Experiments using translation termination linker insertion and deletion mutagenesis of BKV T antigen demonstrate that amino acids 356 to 384 are essential for transformation. Although BKV T antigen shares 100, 95, and 82% amino acid homology with that of simian virus 40 (SV40) for the nuclear localization signal, p53-binding domain, and DNA-binding domain, respectively, the transformation domains of BKV and SV40 T antigens share only 54% homology. ALso, BKV T antigen lacks a substantial portion of the ATPase domain of SV40, and our results indicate that dispensability of the remaining portion for transformation by this protein. We suggest that the differences in the amino acids in the identified transformation domains together with the differences in the ATPase domains may account for the differences in the transformation potentials of the two proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science