BK viral enhancer element and a human cellular homolog

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Science  18 Nov 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4625, pp. 749-755
DOI: 10.1126/science.6314501


Comparison of two closely related primate papovaviruses, simian virus 40 (SV40) and human BK virus (BKV), reveals that the only region of extensive divergence, the tandem sequences adjacent to the origins of DNA replication, is responsible in SV40 for enhancing early gene expression. This study demonstrates a similar enhancer function for the analogous repeated region in BKV. The dissimilarity in sequence of the BKV and SV40 enhancer elements suggests that they may have been acquired since SV40 and BKV diverged. A locus cloned from the human genome homologous to the BKV tandem repeats has been shown to function as low level enhancer element in mammalian cells. These data support the hypothesis that viral enhancer sequences may be evolutionarily related to host cell sequences.