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EMBO J. 1993 Oct;12(10):3921-9.

A transcription factor with homology to the AP-1 family links RNA transcription and DNA replication in the lytic cycle of Epstein-Barr virus.

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Institut für Klinische Molekularbiologie und Tumorgenetik, GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, München, Germany.


oriLyt, the lytic origin of DNA replication of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), ensures viral DNA amplification during the productive or lytic phase of the virus' life cycle. To understand the contribution of cis- and transacting elements involved in DNA replication of oriLyt, a detailed mutational analysis was undertaken which defined BZLF1, a viral transcriptional activator, as an essential replication factor. The BZLF1 protein belongs to the extended fos/jun family of transcription factors and binds to specific BZLF1 binding motifs within oriLyt, as well as to consensus AP-1 sites. Recombinant, chimeric transcription factors identified the transcriptional activation domain of BZLF1 as being necessary to mediate DNA replication, a function which could not be substituted by any other transcription factor tested, including jun, E2, myc or VP16.

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