Origin of adeno-associated virus DNA replication is a target of carcinogen-inducible DNA amplification.


DNA amplification of the helper-dependent parvovirus AAV (adeno-associated virus) can be induced by a variety of genotoxic agents in the absence of coinfecting helper virus. Here we investigated whether the origin of AAV type 2 DNA replication cloned into a plasmid is sufficient to promote replication activity in cells treated by the carcinogen N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG). A pUC19-based plasmid, designated pA2Y1, which contains the left terminal repeat sequences (TRs) representing the AAV origin of replication and the p5 and p19 promoter but lacks any functional parvoviral genes is shown to confer replication activity and to allow selective DNA amplification in carcinogen-treated cells. Following transfection of plasmid pA2Y1 or plasmid pUC19 as a control, density labeling by a bromodeoxyuridine and DpnI resistance assay suggested a semi-conservative mode of replication of the AAV origin-containing plasmid. Furthermore, the amount of DpnI-resistant full-length pA2Y1 DNA molecules was increased by MNNG treatment of cells in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, DNA synthesis of plasmid pA2Y1 was studied in vitro. Extracts derived from MNNG-treated CHO-9 and L1210 cells displayed greater synthesis of DpnI-resistant full-length pA2Y1 molecules than did nontreated controls. Experiments with specific enzyme inhibitors suggested that the reaction is largely dependent on DNA polymerase alpha, DNA primase, and DNA topoisomerase I. Furthermore, restriction endonuclease mapping analysis of the in vitro reaction products revealed the occurrence of specific initiation at the AAV origin of DNA replication. Though elongation was not very extensive, extracts from carcinogen-treated cells markedly amplified the AAV origin region. Our results, including electron microscopic examination, suggest that the AAV origin/terminal repeat structure is recognized by the cellular DNA replicative machinery induced or modulated by carcinogen treatment in the absence of parvoviral gene products.




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