The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) predominantly establishes a latent infection in B lymphocytes, and occasionally switches from the latent state to the lytic cycle. In this report, we identified and examined the role of a lytic gene, BRRF2. We first prepared an antibody against BRRF2 and identified the gene product as a viral lytic protein expressed in B95-8 cells with late kinetics. Immunofluorescence revealed that BRRF2 localized in the cytoplasm of cells during the lytic phase. We also found that BRRF2 protein was phosphorylated in lytic cells, but the only viral protein kinase, BGLF4, was not involved in the phosphorylation. Knockout EBV and a repaired strain were then prepared, and we found that BRRF2 disruption did not affect viral gene expression and DNA replication, but decreased virus production. These results demonstrated that BRRF2 is involved in production of infectious progeny, although it is not essential for lytic replication.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes