Transcriptional repression by sumoylation of Epstein-Barr virus BZLF1 protein correlates with association of histone deacetylase

Takayuki Murata, Naoe Hotta, Shigenori Toyama, Sanae Nakayama, Shigeki Chiba, Hiroki Isomura, Takayuki Ohshima, Teru Kanda, Tatsuya Tsurumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


The transition from latent to lytic phases of the Epstein-Barr virus life cycle is triggered by expression of a viral transactivator, BZLF1, that then induces expression of the viral immediate-early and early genes. The BZLF1 protein is post-translationally modified by a small ubiquitin-related modifier-1 (SUMO-1). Here we found that BZLF1 is conjugated at lysine 12 not only by SUMO-1 but also by SUMO-2 and 3. The K12R mutant of BZLF1, which no longer becomes sumoylated, exhibits stronger transactivation than the wild-type BZLF1 in a reporter assay system as well as in the context of virus genome with nucleosomal structures. Furthermore, exogenous supply of a SUMO-specific protease, SENP, caused de-sumoylation of BZLF1 and enhanced BZLF1-mediated transactivation. Immunoprecipitation experiments proved that histone deacetylase 3 preferentially associated with the sumoylated form of BZLF1. Levels of the sumoylated BZLF1 increased as lytic replication progressed. Based on these observations, we conclude that sumoylation of BZLF1 regulates its transcriptional activity through histone modification during Epstein-Barr virus productive replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23925-23935
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 30-07-2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this