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J Virol. 2000 Jul;74(13):5921-32.

Structural, functional, and genetic comparisons of Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 3A, 3B, and 3C homologues encoded by the rhesus lymphocryptovirus.

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1
Department of Medicine, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

EBNA-3A, -3B, and -3C are three latent infection nuclear proteins important for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-induced B-cell immortalization and the immune response to EBV infection. All three are hypothesized to function as transcriptional transactivators, but little is known about their precise mechanism of action or their role in EBV pathogenesis. We have cloned and studied the three EBNA-3 homologues from a closely related lymphocryptovirus (LCV) which naturally infects rhesus monkeys. The rhesus LCV EBNA-3A, -3B, and -3C homologues have 37, 40, and 36% amino acid identity with the EBV genes, respectively. Function, as measured by in vitro assays, also appears to be conserved with the EBV genes, since the rhesus LCV EBNA-3s can interact with the transcription factor RBP-Jkappa and the rhesus LCV EBNA-3C encodes a Q/P-rich domain with transcriptional activation properties. In order to better understand the relationship between these EBV and rhesus LCV latent infection genes, we asked if the rhesus LCV EBNA-3 locus could be recombined into the EBV genome and if it could substitute for the EBV EBNA-3s when assayed for human B-cell immortalization. Recombination between the EBV genome and rhesus LCV DNA was reasonably efficient. However, these studies suggest that the rhesus LCV EBNA-3 locus was not completely interchangeable with the EBV EBNA-3 locus for B-cell immortalization and that at least one determinant of the species restriction for LCV-induced B-cell immortalization maps to the EBNA-3 locus. The overall conservation of EBNA-3 structure and function between EBV and rhesus LCV indicates that rhesus LCV infection of rhesus monkeys can provide an important animal model for studying the role of the EBNA-3 genes in LCV pathogenesis.

PMID:
10846073
PMCID:
PMC112088
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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