PMA induces expression from the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase promoter via the activation of JNK and ERK in the presence of adenoviral E1A proteins

Amde Selassie Shifera, John A. Hardin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


The herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) thymidine kinase (TK) promoter contains elements involved in both constitutive and induced expression. We determined that phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) induces the HSV-1 TK promoter in HEK293 cells. However, PMA did not induce expression from the promoter in HeLa cells and did not result in a globally increased gene expression in HEK293 cells. Induction of HSV-1 TK promoter required activation of both of JNK and ERK pathways. However, activation of the two pathways alone was not sufficient for induction of HSV-1 TK promoter. By transiently transfecting into HeLa cells the adenoviral E1A gene, which exists as an integrant in HEK293 genome, we demonstrated that E1A proteins are necessary for induction of HSV-1 TK promoter by PMA. We propose mechanisms by which signaling pathways activated by the tumor-promoter PMA cooperate with the oncogene E1A to stimulate a eukaryotic promoter, namely the HSV-1 TK promoter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-157
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • E1A
  • ERK
  • JNK
  • PMA
  • Thymidine kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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