Author(s): Sivachandran N, Wang X, Frappier L
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Abstract EBNA1 is the only nuclear Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) protein expressed in both latent and lytic modes of infection. While EBNA1 is known to play several important roles in latent infection, the reason for its continued expression in lytic infection is unknown. Here we identified two roles for EBNA1 in the reactivation of latent EBV to the lytic cycle in epithelial cells. First, EBNA1 depletion in latently infected cells was shown to positively contribute to spontaneous EBV reactivation, showing that EBNA1 has a role in suppressing reactivation. Second, when the lytic cycle was induced, EBNA1 depletion decreased lytic gene expression and DNA amplification, showing that it positively contributed to lytic infection. Since we have previously shown that EBNA1 disrupts promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies, we investigated whether this function could account for the effects of EBNA1 on lytic infection by repeating the experiments with cells lacking PML proteins. In the absence of PML, EBNA1 did not promote lytic infection, indicating that the EBNA1-mediated PML disruption is responsible for promoting lytic infection. In keeping with this conclusion, PML silencing was found to be sufficient to induce the EBV lytic cycle. Finally, by generating cells with single PML isoforms, we showed that individual PML isoforms were sufficient to suppress EBV lytic reactivation, although PML isoform IV (PML IV) was ineffective because it was most efficiently degraded by EBNA1. Our results provide the first function for EBNA1 in lytic infection and show that EBNA1 interactions with PML IV lead to a loss of PML nuclear bodies (NBs) that promotes lytic infection.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry