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J Virol. 2013 Jun;87(12):6693-9. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00219-13. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

Different distributions of Epstein-Barr virus early and late gene transcripts within viral replication compartments.

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Division of Virology, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, Nagoya, Japan.


Productive replication of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) occurs in discrete sites in nuclei, called replication compartments, where viral genome DNA synthesis and transcription take place. The replication compartments include subnuclear domains, designated BMRF1 cores, which are highly enriched in the BMRF1 protein. During viral lytic replication, newly synthesized viral DNA genomes are organized around and then stored inside BMRF1 cores. Here, we examined spatial distribution of viral early and late gene mRNAs within replication compartments using confocal laser scanning microscopy and three-dimensional surface reconstruction imaging. EBV early mRNAs were mainly located outside the BMRF1 cores, while viral late mRNAs were identified inside, corresponding well with the fact that late gene transcription is dependent on viral DNA replication. From these results, we speculate that sites for viral early and late gene transcription are separated with reference to BMRF1 cores.

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