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EMBO J. 1989 Oct;8(10):2897-903.

A transforming function of the BARF1 gene encoded by Epstein-Barr virus.

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Laboratoire de Virologie Moléculaire, UM30 CNRS, Faculté de Médecine Alexis Carrel, Lyon, France.


We report a new rodent cell-transforming gene, presumably involved in viral replication, encoded by Epstein-Barr virus. We previously showed that the corresponding open reading frame BARF1 is transcribed before the onset of viral DNA synthesis, and translated into a 33 kd early polypeptide (p33). Here we show that recombinant plasmids containing the BARF1 induce morphological change, anchorage-independent growth and tumorigenic transformation of established mouse fibroblast lines. The BARF1-transformed cells and the tumour tissues isolated from new-born rats after injection of such transformed cell both express p33. Transforming activity was obtained from either the genomic fragment or the cDNA sequence.

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