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EMBO J. 1999 Nov 1;18(21):6095-105.

Cellular transcription factors recruit viral replication proteins to activate the Epstein-Barr virus origin of lytic DNA replication, oriLyt.

Author information

  • 1GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology and Tumor Genetics, Department of Gene Vectors, M√ľnchen, Germany.

Erratum in

  • EMBO J 2000 Jan 17;19(2):315.


DNA replication of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) during the productive phase of the life cycle of this herpesvirus depends on the cis-acting element oriLyt. It consists of two essential domains, the upstream and the downstream component. Whereas the upstream component contains several DNA-binding motifs for the viral activator protein BZLF1, the downstream component is known to be the binding site of several cellular proteins. We identified cellular transcription factors that bind synergistically to a functionally relevant subsequence of the downstream component, the TD element. Two of these transcription factors, ZBP-89 and Sp1, stimulate replication as shown by protein fusions with the GAL4 DNA-binding domain and a single GAL4 DNA-binding motif inserted into the TD element. In protein binding assays, we observed an interaction of Sp1 and ZBP-89 with the viral DNA polymerase and its processivity factor. Our data indicate that cellular transcriptional activators tether viral replication proteins to the lytic origin via direct protein-protein interactions to assemble the viral replication complex at oriLyt.

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