ABSTRACT: Vaccinia virus (VV) triggers a mitogenic signal at an early stage of infection. VV-induced proto-oncogene c-fos mRNA with kinetics paralleling that stimulated by serum. The VV virokine, or vaccinia virus growth factor (VGF), was not crucial for c-fos induction because it was observed upon infection with the virokine-minus mutant VV (VGF(-)). Furthermore, c-fos expression did not require infectious virus particles, as it occurred even with UV-inactivated VV and was equally induced by the different multiplicities of infection, i.e. 1.0, 5.0, and 25.0. c-fos expression was preceded by VV-induced DNA binding activity and was mediated via the cis-acting elements serum response element (SRE), activating protein-1 (AP-1), and cAMP-response element (CRE). VV activated the protein kinases p42MAPK/ERK2 and p44MAPK/ERK1 and the transcription factor ATF1 in a time-dependent manner with kinetics that paralleled those of VV-stimulated DNA-protein complex formation. The mitogenic signal transmission pathways leading to c-fos activation upon VV infection were apparently mediated by the protein kinases MEK, ERK, and PKA. This assumption was based on the findings that: 1) c-fos transcript was down-regulated; 2) the SRE, AP-1, and CRE binding activities were significantly reduced; and 3) the activation of p42MAPK/ERK2, p44MAPK/ERK1, and ATF1 were drastically affected when the viral infections were carried out in the presence of specific protein kinase inhibitor. Moreover, the mutant VV (VGF(-)) was also able to activate ERK1/2. It is noteworthy that virus multiplication was equally affected by the same kinase inhibitors. Taken together, our data provide evidence that the early mitogenic signal triggered upon VV infection relies upon the activation of the protein kinases MEK, ERK, and PKA, which are needed for both signal transduction and virus multiplication.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2001; 276(42):38353-60. · 4.77 Impact Factor