Epstein-Barr virus lytic gene BNRF1 promotes B-cell lymphomagenesis via IFI27 upregulation

Ken Sagou, Yoshitaka Sato, Yusuke Okuno, Takahiro Watanabe, Tomoki Inagaki, Yashiro Motooka, Shinya Toyokuni, Takayuki Murata, Hitoshi Kiyoi, Hiroshi Kimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human lymphotropic herpesvirus that is causally associated with several malignancies. In addition to latent factors, lytic replication contributes to cancer development. In this study, we examined whether the lytic gene BNRF1, which is conserved among gamma-herpesviruses, has an important role in lymphomagenesis. We found that lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) established by BNRF1-knockout EBV exhibited remarkably lower pathogenicity in a mice xenograft model than LCLs produced by wild-type EBV (LCLs-WT). RNA-seq analyses revealed that BNRF1 elicited the expression of interferon-inducible protein 27 (IFI27), which promotes cell proliferation. IFI27 knockdown in LCLs-WT resulted in excessive production of reactive oxygen species, leading to cell death and significantly decreased their pathogenicity in vivo. We also confirmed that IFI27 was upregulated during primary infection in B-cells. Our findings revealed that BNRF1 promoted robust proliferation of the B-cells that were transformed by EBV latent infection via IFI27 upregulation both in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1011954
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 02-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Epstein-Barr virus lytic gene BNRF1 promotes B-cell lymphomagenesis via IFI27 upregulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this