Send to

Choose Destination
EMBO J. 2006 Sep 20;25(18):4207-14. Epub 2006 Aug 31.

EB virus-encoded RNAs are recognized by RIG-I and activate signaling to induce type I IFN.

Author information

Department of Tumor Virology, Institute for Genetic Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded small RNAs (EBERs) are nonpolyadenylated, untranslated RNAs, exist most abundantly in latently EBV-infected cells, and are expected to show secondary structures with many short stem-loops. Retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) is a cytosolic protein that detects viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) inside the cell and initiates signaling pathways leading to the induction of protective cellular genes, including type I interferons (IFNs). We investigated whether EBERs were recognized by RIG-I as dsRNA. Transfection of RIG-I plasmid induced IFNs and IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) in EBV-positive Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cells, but not in their EBV-negative counterparts or EBER-knockout EBV-infected BL cells. Transfection of EBER plasmid or in vitro-synthesized EBERs induced expression of type I IFNs and ISGs in RIG-I-expressing, EBV-negative BL cells, but not in RIG-I-minus counterparts. EBERs activated RIG-I's substrates, NF-kappaB and IFN regulatory factor 3, which were necessary for type I IFN activation. It was also shown that EBERs co-precipitated with RIG-I. These results indicate that EBERs are recognized by RIG-I and activate signaling to induce type I IFN in EBV-infected cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center