The transcriptional activator, Tax, of human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV-I) has been considered to interact with cellular proteins to act on target enhancer motifs. Using oligodeoxyribonucleotides containing the tax-responsive element (TAXRE) of the HTLV-I enhancer, we have cloned multiple cDNAs coding for TAXRE-binding proteins (TAXREB), and determined the cDNA and the deduced 200-amino-acid sequences for TAXREB302. The recombinant protein binds to the enhancer DNA by specific interaction to the CRE-like sequence. A single 1.8-kb species of mRNA was detected in cultured cells, as well as in normal human tissues, especially brain and skeletal muscle. The 22-kDa native protein was detected in the cultured-cell lysate by immunoblotting analysis. TAXREB302 does not have structural features common to the CRE-binding protein or activating transcription factor (CREB/ATF) family, but has homology to chicken erythroid transcription factor (Eryf 1 or GATA-1), suggesting a possible protein-protein interaction.
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