Calcium-dependent enhancement of transcription of p300 by human T-lymphotropic type 1 p12I

Amrithraj M. Nair, Bindhu Michael, Antara Datta, Soledad Fernandez, Michael Dale Lairmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) p12I localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi causing sustained release of calcium, T cell activation, and enhanced expression of several calcium-regulated genes. In recent microarray studies, p300 mRNA was increased in T cells expressing p12I. The co-activator p300 is a key regulator of cellular and viral transcription; however, factors that influence its transcriptional regulation are less well studied. We hypothesized that the transcription of p300 is calcium dependent and that sustained low magnitude increases in intracellular calcium may enhance the transcription of p300. Herein, we report enhanced expression of p300 in T cells by p12I in a calcium-dependent, but calcineurin-independent manner. Sustained low magnitude calcium release induced by ionomycin in T cells was sufficient to increased mRNA and protein levels of p300 resulting in enhanced transcription from a p300-dependent promoter. Promoter analysis of the p300 gene was used to predict calcium-responsive transcription factor binding sites. Using mutant forms of p12I, we demonstrate that ER localization of the viral protein is required to increase p300. In addition, p12I reversed the repression of HTLV-1 LTR-driven transcription by HTLV-1 p30II, a p300-binding protein. HTLV-1 p12I-mediated enhancement of p300 expression represents a novel mechanism of regulation of cellular gene expression by viral proteins. By targeting a ubiquitous second messenger such as calcium, HTLV-1 p12I may regulate the expression of the cellular transcriptional co-activator p300 to modulate viral gene expression and promote lymphocyte survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-257
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 30 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Accessory protein
  • Calcium
  • HTLV-1
  • p300
  • Retrovirus
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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