Distinct roles of the adenovirus E4 ORF3 protein in viral DNA replication and inhibition of genome concatenation

Jared D. Evans, Patrick Hearing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Adenovirus early proteins E4 ORF3 and E4 ORF6 have complementary functions during viral infection. Both proteins facilitate efficient viral DNA replication, late protein expression, and prevention of concatenation of viral genomes. Additionally, E4 ORF6 is involved in the shutoff of the host cell protein synthesis through its interaction with the E1B 55K protein. This complex also leads to the degradation of p53. A unique function of E4 ORF3 is the reorganization of nuclear structures known as PML oncogenic domains (PODs). The function of these domains is unclear, but PODs have been implicated in a number of important cellular processes, including transcriptional regulation, apoptosis, transformation, and response to interferon. The goal of this study was to determine the functional significance of the reorganization of PODs by E4 ORF3. Point mutations were made in the E4 ORF3 gene. These mutants were recombined into a virus lacking E4 ORF6 and expressed under the control of the natural virus E4 promoter. The panel of mutant viruses was used to investigate the role of E4 ORF3 during the course of the viral infection program. One of the mutant viruses exhibited aberrant reorganization of PODs and had a severe defect in viral DNA replication, thus leading to a dramatic decrease in virus production. A number of mutants accumulated viral DNA and infectious virus particles to wild-type levels but showed significant viral genome concatenation. These data show that E4 ORF3 is a multifunctional protein and that a specific rearrangement of nuclear PML domains is coupled to efficient viral DNA replication. This function is distinct from the role of E4 ORF3 in the regulation of virus genome concatenation via inhibition of cellular double-strand break repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5295-5304
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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