Cellular gene expression that correlates with EBER expression in Epstein-Barr Virus-infected lymphoblastoid cell lines.
ABSTRACT Novel Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) strains with deletion of either EBER1 or EBER2 and corresponding revertant viruses were constructed and used to infect B lymphocytes to make lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). The LCLs were used in microarray expression profiling to identify genes whose expression correlates with the presence of EBER1 or EBER2. Functions of regulated genes identified in the microarray analysis include membrane signaling, regulation of apoptosis, and the interferon/antiviral response. Although most emphasis has previously been given to EBER1 because it is more abundant than EBER2, the differences in cell gene expression were greater with EBER2 deletion. In this system, deletion of EBER1 or EBER2 had little effect on the EBV transformation frequency of primary B cells or the growth of the resulting LCLs. Using the recombinant viruses and novel EBER expression vectors, the nuclear redistribution of rpL22 protein by EBER1 in 293 cells was confirmed, but in LCLs almost all of the cells had a predominantly cytoplasmic expression of this ribosomal protein, which was not detectably changed by EBER1. The changes in LCL gene expression identified here will provide a basis for identifying the mechanisms of action of EBER RNAs.