Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Virol. 1989 Jul;63(7):3016-25.

Functional limits of oriP, the Epstein-Barr virus plasmid origin of replication.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544-1014.


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome contains two cis-acting elements which are required for stable extrachromosomal plasmid maintenance in latently infected cells. The first consists of 20 30-base-pair (bp) repeats, each of which contains a DNA-binding site for EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1), the trans-acting factor required for plasmid persistence. The second element is composed of a 65-bp dyad symmetry, containing four EBNA-1-binding sites. Deletion mutants were constructed which reduce the number of EBNA-1-binding sites in the 30-bp repeats, alter the number of EBNA-1-binding sites in the dyad region, or truncate the dyad element. The effect of the deletion mutations on plasmid maintenance was examined by transfecting recombinant plasmids, containing both the mutated EBV sequences and a drug resistance marker, into D98-Raji cells. The plasmids were tested for their ability to generate drug-resistant D98-Raji cell colonies and their capacity to be maintained in an extrachromosomal form without undergoing extensive rearrangements. EBV plasmids with 12 or 15 copies of the 30-bp repeats were wild type in both assays. Plasmids with just two or six copies of these repeated elements failed to generate drug-resistant colonies at a normal level, and normal episomal plasmids were not detected in the resulting colonies. Rare colonies of cells resulting from transfection of these two- or six-copy mutants contained rearranged, episomal forms of the input plasmids. The rearrangements most often produced head-to-tail oligomers containing a minimum of eight 30-bp repeated elements. The rearranged plasmids were shown to be revertant for plasmid maintenance in that they yielded wild-type or greater numbers of drug-resistant colonies and persisted at the wild-type or a greater episomal copy number. By use of an EBV plasmid that contained no 30-bp elements, no revertants could be isolated. One to five copies of a synthetic linker corresponding to a consensus 30-bp repeated element inserted into a plasmid with no 30-bp elements now permitted the generation of oligomeric, episomal forms of the mutant test plasmid. These experiments demonstrate a requirement for a minimal number (six to eight copies) of the 30-bp repeated element. Deletions in the 65-bp dyad region had little or no effect upon the ability to generate enhanced numbers of drug-resistant D98-Raji colonies, indicating that the 30-bp repeated element is predominantly required for this phenotype.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk