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Oncogene. 2000 Mar 30;19(14):1801-6.

Epstein-Barr virus encoded nuclear protein EBNA-3 binds XAP-2, a protein associated with Hepatitis B virus X antigen.

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Microbiology and Tumor Biology Centre (MTC) Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


EBNA-3 (also called EBNA-3A) is one of the EBV encoded nuclear antigens that are necessary for B-cell transformation. EBNA-3 is known to target RBPs, nuclear proteins that also interacts with EBNA-2, EBNA-4 and EBNA-6. In order to identify additional EBNA-3 targets, an EBV-transformed human lymphocyte cDNA library was screened in the yeast two-hybrid system with N-terminus truncated EBNA-3 that cannot interact with RBP-Jkappa. A clone, encoding Xap-2 protein, a cellular partner of Hepatitis B virus X-antigen was isolated. This protein is also known as the p38 subunit of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor complex (ARA9). The specific binding to EBNA-3 was confirmed by showing that the GST-Xap-2 precipitated EBNA-3 from CV1 cells that were infected with recombinant vaccinia virus expressing EBNA-3. Deletion of the C-terminus of Xap-2 eliminated the binding. Fusion with green fluorescent protein showed that Xap-2 is preferentially cytoplasmic but translocates to the nucleus upon expression of EBNA-3.

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