The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a gamma-herpesvirus associated with several malignancies. It establishes a latent infection in B lymphocytes and is occasionally reactivated to enter the lytic cycle. Here we examined the role of the EBV gene BRRF1, which is expressed in the lytic state. We first confirmed, using a DNA polymerase inhibitor, that the BRRF1 gene is expressed with early kinetics. A BRRF1-deficient recombinant virus was constructed using a bacterial artificial chromosome system. No obvious differences were observed between the wild-type, BRRF1-deficient mutant and the revertant virus in HEK293 cells in terms of viral lytic protein expression, viral DNA synthesis, progeny production, pre-latent abortive lytic gene expression and transformation of primary B cells. However, reporter assays indicated that BRRF1 may activate transcription in promoter-A nd cell type-dependent manners. Taken together, BRRF1 is dispensable for viral replication in HEK293 cells and transformation of B cells, but it may have effects on transcription.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes