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J Virol. 1999 May;73(5):4385-92.

Mapping EBNA-1 domains involved in binding to metaphase chromosomes.

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  • 1Service de Microbiologie, Hôpital Rothschild, 75571 Paris Cedex 12, France. vmarecha@infobiogen.fr


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome can persist in dividing human B cells as multicopy circular episomes. Viral episomes replicate in synchrony with host cell DNA and are maintained at a relatively constant copy number for a long time. Only two viral elements, the replication origin OriP and the EBNA-1 protein, are required for the persistence of viral genomes during latency. EBNA-1 activates OriP during the S phase and may also contribute to the partition and/or retention of viral genomes during mitosis. Indeed, EBNA-1 has been shown to interact with mitotic chromatin. Moreover, viral genomes are noncovalently associated with metaphase chromosomes. This suggests that EBNA-1 may facilitate the anchorage of viral genomes on cellular chromosomes, thus ensuring proper partition and retention. In the present paper, we have investigated the chromosome-binding activity of EBV EBNA-1, herpesvirus papio (HVP) EBNA-1, and various derivatives of EBV EBNA-1, fused to a variant of the green fluorescent protein. The results show that binding to metaphase chromosomes is a common property of EBV and HVP EBNA-1. Further studies indicated that at least three independent domains (CBS-1, -2, and -3) mediate EBNA-1 binding to metaphase chromosomes. In agreement with the anchorage model, two of these domains mapped to a region that has been previously demonstrated to be required for the long-term persistence of OriP-containing plasmids.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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