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.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/veenu_minhas/4/