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Interferon Regulatory Factor 3 And CREB-Binding Protein/p300 Are Subunits Of Double-Stranded RNA-Activated Transcription Factor DRAF1

Brian K. Weaver, K. Prasanna Kumar, Nancy C. Reich

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ABSTRACT Cells respond to viral infection or double-stranded RNA with the transcriptional induction of a subset of alpha/beta interferon-stimulated genes by a pathway distinct from the interferon signal pathway. The transcriptional induction is mediated through a DNA sequence containing the alpha/beta interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE). We previously identified a novel transcription factor, designated double-stranded RNA-activated factor 1 (DRAF1), that recognizes this response element. The DNA-binding specificity of DRAF1 correlates with transcriptional induction, thereby distinguishing it as a positive regulator of alpha/beta interferon-stimulated genes. Two of the components of DRAF1 have now been identified as interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3) and the transcriptional coactivator CREB-binding protein (CBP)/p300. We demonstrate that IRF-3 preexists in the cytoplasm of uninfected cells and translocates to the nucleus following viral infection. Translocation of IRF-3 is accompanied by an increase in serine and threonine phosphorylation. Coimmunoprecipitation analyses of endogenous proteins demonstrate an association of IRF-3 with the transcriptional coactivators CBP and p300 only subsequent to infection. In addition, antibodies to the IRF-3, CBP, and p300 molecules react with DRAF1 bound to the ISRE target site of induced genes. The cellular response that leads to DRAF1 activation and specific gene expression may serve to increase host survival during viral infection.