The Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57 protein is an essential multifunctional regulator of gene expression. ORF57 interaction with RNA is necessary for ORF57-mediated posttranscriptional functions, but little is known about the RNA elements that drive ORF57-RNA specificity. Here, we investigate the cis-acting factors on the KSHV PAN RNA that dictate ORF57 binding and activity. We show that ORF57 binds directly to the 5' end of PAN RNA in KSHV-infected cells. Furthermore, we employ in vitro and cell-based assays to define a 30-nucleotide (nt) core ORF57-responsive element (ORE) that is necessary and sufficient for ORF57 binding and activity. Mutational analysis of the core ORE further suggests that a 9-nt sequence is a specific binding site for ORF57. These studies provide insight into ORF57 specificity determinants and lay a foundation for future analyses of cellular and viral ORF57 targets.
- Gene expression
- Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus
- PAN RNA
- Post-transcriptional gene regulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas