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J Med Virol. 1998 Jul;55(3):219-26.

Upregulation of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded latent membrane protein by human herpesvirus 6 superinfection of EBV-carrying Burkitt lymphoma cells.

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Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed, Pozzilli, Italy.


The effect of HHV-6 strain A infection on the expression of Epstein-Barr virus- (EBV-) encoded growth transformation-associated genes in two EBV-positive Burkitt lymphoma cell lines, Akata and P3HR-3, was investigated. The results indicate that HHV-6A upregulates the expression of the latent membrane protein LMP-1 in both cell lines. Expression of EBNA-2 was also upregulated in Akata cells following HHV-6A infection. Transfection of reporter constructs carrying the LMP-1 regulatory sequences (LRS; -634/+40) or its 5' deleted derivatives in Akata and in a T-lymphoblastoid cell line, J-Jhan, confirmed the presence of positive and negative regulatory elements responsive to HHV-6A infection in LMP-1 regulatory sequence (LRS). The majority of LRS constructs were under the influence of dominant negative factors. HHV-6A was able to override the effect of such factors acting on reporter plasmids containing the -634/-54, -324/-54, -214/-54, and -106/-54 parts of LRS. The plasmid that carried only the -54/+40 LRS region was constitutively active in both Akata and J-Jhan cells; in Akata, its activity was influenced by HHV-6A. The finding that HHV-6A infection may activate LMP-1 and EBNA-2 expression, which is essential for the immortalization of B-lymphocytes by EBV, shows a novel aspect of the interaction between these two herpesviruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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