The mismatch repair (MMR) system, highly conserved throughout evolution, corrects nucleotide mispairing that arise during cellular DNA replication. We report here that proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), the clamp loader complex (RF-C), and a series of MMR proteins like MSH-2, MSH-6, MLH1, and hPSM2 can be assembled to Epstein-Barr virus replication compartments, the sites of viral DNA synthesis. Levels of the DNA-bound form of PCNA increased with progression of viral productive replication. Bromodeoxyuridine-labeled chromatin immunodepletion analyses confirmed that PCNA is loaded onto newly synthesized viral DNA as well as BALF2 and BMRF1 viral proteins during lytic replication. Furthermore, the anti-PCNA, -MSH2, -MSH3, or -MSH6 antibodies could immunoprecipitate BMRF1 replication protein probably via the viral DNA genome. PCNA loading might trigger transfer of a series of host MMR proteins to the sites of viral DNA synthesis. The MMR factors might function for the repair of mismatches that arise during viral replication or act to inhibit recombination between moderately divergent (homologous) sequences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology