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J Biol Chem. 2010 Oct 22;285(43):33358-70. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.138362. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

Editing of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded BART6 microRNAs controls their dicer targeting and consequently affects viral latency.

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  • 1The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Certain primary transcripts of miRNA (pri-microRNAs) undergo RNA editing that converts adenosine to inosine. The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome encodes multiple microRNA genes of its own. Here we report that primary transcripts of ebv-miR-BART6 (pri-miR-BART6) are edited in latently EBV-infected cells. Editing of wild-type pri-miR-BART6 RNAs dramatically reduced loading of miR-BART6-5p RNAs onto the microRNA-induced silencing complex. Editing of a mutation-containing pri-miR-BART6 found in Daudi Burkitt lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma C666-1 cell lines suppressed processing of miR-BART6 RNAs. Most importantly, miR-BART6-5p RNAs silence Dicer through multiple target sites located in the 3'-UTR of Dicer mRNA. The significance of miR-BART6 was further investigated in cells in various stages of latency. We found that miR-BART6-5p RNAs suppress the EBNA2 viral oncogene required for transition from immunologically less responsive type I and type II latency to the more immunoreactive type III latency as well as Zta and Rta viral proteins essential for lytic replication, revealing the regulatory function of miR-BART6 in EBV infection and latency. Mutation and A-to-I editing appear to be adaptive mechanisms that antagonize miR-BART6 activities.

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