Targeting Cell Cycle Facilitates E1A-Independent Adenoviral Replication

Maximilian Ehrenfeld, Felicia Segeth, Klaus Mantwill, Corinna Brockhaus, Yuling Zhao, Christian Ploner, Andreas Kolk, Jürgen E. Gschwend, Roman Nawroth, Per Sonne Holm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


DNA replication of E1-deleted first-generation adenoviruses (AdV) in cultured cancer cells has been reported repeatedly and it was suggested that certain cellular proteins could functionally compensate for E1A, leading to the expression of the early region 2 (E2)-encoded proteins and subsequently virus replication. Referring to this, the observation was named E1A-like activity. In this study, we investigated different cell cycle inhibitors with respect to their ability to increase viral DNA replication of dl70-3, an E1-deleted adenovirus. Our analyses of this issue revealed that in particular inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinases 4/6 (CDK4/6i) increased E1-independent adenovirus E2-expression and viral DNA replication. Detailed analysis of the E2-expression in dl70-3 infected cells by RT-qPCR showed that the increase in E2-expression originated from the E2-early promoter. Mutations of the two E2F-binding sites in the E2-early promoter (pE2earlyLucM) caused a significant reduction in E2-early promoter activity in trans-activation assays. Accordingly, mutations of the E2F-binding sites in the E2-early promoter in a virus named dl70-3/E2Fm completely abolished CDK4/6i induced viral DNA replication. Thus, our data show that E2F-binding sites in the E2-early promoter are crucial for E1A independent adenoviral DNA replication of E1-deleted vectors in cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • CDK4/6
  • E1A
  • E2F
  • Rb
  • YB-1
  • adenovirus
  • cell cycle
  • nutlin-3a
  • ribociclib


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