The Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is a causative agent of infectious mononucleosis and several malignancies. Here, we focused on an EBV lytic protein, BOLF1, which is conserved throughout the herpesvirus family and is reported to be a virion tegument protein. We first constructed BOLF1-deficient viruses using the bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) and CRISPR/Cas9 systems. Although the loss of BOLF1 had almost no effect on viral protein expression, DNA synthesis, or extracellular progeny release, EBV infectivity was significantly reduced. Further analysis showed that nuclear transportation of the incoming virus was decreased by the disruption of BOLF1. Our results indicate that BOLF1enhances the infectious potential of progeny virions, at least partly by increasing nuclear transportation of incoming nucleocapsids. We also found that BOLF1 interacted with BKRF4, and the BOLF1 and BKRF4 proteins were localized in the nucleus and perinuclear area, during the viral lytic cycle.
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