The adeno-associated virus (AAV) rep gene encodes a series of overlapping, multifunctional, nonstructural proteins (Rep proteins) which regulate the viral life cycle and which are also capable of trans-regulating nonviral gene expressions (reviewed in Berns, 1990, Microbiol. Rev. 54, 316-329). To investigate the expression of the AAV rep gene in a cellular chromosomal context, SV40-transformed Chinese hamster embryo (OD4) cells were infected with an AAV/neo hybrid virus and progeny resistant to the antibiotic G418 were selected and amplified. Chromosomal integration and RNA transcription of the AAV and neo DNA inserts were confirmed by Southern and Northern blotting procedures. One of the G418R cell lines stably expressed a protein which reacted specifically with AAV anti-Rep antiserum in Western immunoblots. The stable integration of AAV rep DNA, which did not interfere with cell proliferation under normal growth conditions, was associated with two changes in cellular phenotype: eight of nine lines were markedly more sensitive to UV light (254 nm) than were the parental OD4 cells; and seven of the nine lines had lost the capacity to promote SV40 origin DNA amplification in vitro, in contrast to the parental OD4 cells. OD4 cells transformed to G418R by AAV/neo DNA constructs with a deleted rep gene, or by a neo DNA construct lacking AAV DNA, did not display these phenotypic changes. It is suggested that stable integration of the AAV rep gene interferes with cellular processes connected with DNA repair and gene amplification.
Virology 10/1992; 190(1):316-29. DOI:10.1016/0042-6822(92)91218-J · 3.28 Impact Factor