Delineation of transcriptional control signals within the Moloney murine sarcoma virus long terminal repeat

B. J. Graves, R. N. Eisenman, S. L. McKnight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


We identified three distinct elements within the Moloney murine sarcoma virus long terminal repeat that control transcription. The phenotypes of unidirectional deletion mutants of the long terminal repeat were assayed in microinjected frog oocytes and in transfected mouse fibroblasts. Steady-state levels of RNA bearing the same 5' terminus as the authentic Moloney murine sarcoma viral transcripts were measured by primer extension in assays that included a pseudo-wild-type internal reference. Mutant phenotypes define the boundaries of three functional elements. A region between 21 and 31 base pairs upstream from the mRNA cap site contains AT-rich sequences that function to establish the transcription start site. A second control element, termed the distal signal, lies between 31 and 84 base pairs upstream of the mRNA cap site. A CAT box consensus sequence is located at the 5' boundary of the distal signal. Additional components of the distal signal include a hexanucleotide sequence that is repeated four times. The distal signal augments transcription efficiency in oocytes but contributes only weakly to long terminal repeat-mediated expression in mouse fibroblasts. A third transcriptional control element lies between 156 and 364 base pairs upstream of the mRNA cap site. This element includes the 75-base-pair repeats previously identified as the Moloney murine sarcoma virus enhancer. In contrast to the distal signal, the Moloney murine sarcoma virus enhancer is crucial for significant expression in mouse fibroblasts but does not contribute to transcriptional expression in frog oocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1948-1958
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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