The zinc finger DNA-binding domain of K-RBP plays an important role in regulating Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus RTA-mediated gene expression

Zhilong Yang, Hui Ju Wen, Veenu Minhas, Charles Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


K-RBP is a KRAB-containing zinc finger protein with multiple zinc finger motifs and represses Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) transactivator RTA-mediated transactivation of several viral lytic gene promoters, including the ORF57 promoter. Whether K-RBP binds DNA through its zinc fingers and the role of zinc finger domain in repressing gene expression are unclear. Here we report that K-RBP binds DNA through its zinc finger domain and the target DNA sequences contain high GC content. Furthermore, K-RBP binds to KSHV ORF57 promoter, which contains a GC-rich motif. K-RBP suppresses the basal ORF57 promoter activity as well as RTA-mediated activation. The zinc finger domain of K-RBP is sufficient for the suppression of ORF57 promoter activation mediated by the viral transactivator RTA. Finally, we show that K-RBP inhibits RTA binding to ORF57 promoter. These findings suggest that the DNA-binding activity of K-RBP plays an important role in repressing viral promoter activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2009



  • DNA binding
  • KSHV/HHV-8
  • Transcription repression
  • Zinc finger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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