Epigenetic modifications play a pivotal role in the expression of the genes of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). We found that de novo EBV infection of primary B cells caused moderate induction of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), the major histone H3 lysine 27 (K27) methyltransferase. To investigate the role of EZH2, we knocked out the EZH2 gene in EBV-negative Akata cells by the CRISPR/Cas9 system and infected the cells with EBV, followed by selection of EBV-positive cells. During the latent state, growth of EZH2-knockout (KO) cells was significantly slower after infection compared to wild-type controls, despite similar levels of viral gene expression between cell lines. After induction of the lytic cycle by anti-IgG, KO of EZH2 caused notable induction of expression of both latent and lytic viral genes, as well as increases in both viral DNA replication and progeny production. These results demonstrate that EZH2 is crucial for the intricate epigenetic regulation of not only lytic but also latent gene expression in Akata cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology