Stably integrated mouse mammary tumor virus long terminal repeat DNA requires the octamer motifs for basal promoter activity.

Molecular and cellular biology

PubMedID: 8289800

Buetti E. Stably integrated mouse mammary tumor virus long terminal repeat DNA requires the octamer motifs for basal promoter activity. Mol Cell Biol. 1994;14(2):1191-203.
In the mouse mammary tumor virus promoter, a tandem of octamer motifs, recognized by ubiquitous and tissue-restricted Oct transcription factors, is located upstream of the TATA box and next to a binding site for the transcription factor nuclear factor I (NF-I). Their function was investigated with mutant long terminal repeats under different transfection conditions in mouse Ltk- cells and quantitative S1 nuclease mapping of the transcripts. In stable transfectants, which are most representative of the state of proviral DNA with respect to both number of integrated DNA templates and chromatin organization, a long terminal repeat mutant of both octamer sites showed an average 50-fold reduction of the basal transcription level, while the dexamethasone-stimulated level was unaffected. DNase I in vitro footprinting assays with L-cell nuclear protein extracts showed that the mutant DNA was unable to bind octamer factors but had a normal footprint in the NF-I site. I conclude that mouse mammary tumor virus employs the tandem octamer motifs of the viral promoter, recognized by the ubiquitous transcription factor Oct-1, for its basal transcriptional activity and the NF-I binding site, as previously shown, for glucocorticoid-stimulated transcription. A deletion mutant with only one octamer site showed a marked base-level reduction at high copy number but little reduction at low copies of integrated plasmids. The observed transcription levels may depend both on the relative ratio of transcription factors to DNA templates and on the relative affinity of binding sites, as determined by oligonucleotide competition footprinting.