[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The BZLF1 gene controls the switch between latent and lytic infection by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). We previously reported that both the ZV and ZIIR elements within the BZLF1 promoter, Zp, are potent transcription silencers within the context of an intact EBV genome. We report here identification of another sequence element, ZV', which synergized with ZV in repressing Zp via binding ZEB1 or ZEB2. We then determined the phenotype of a variant of EBV strain B95.8 in which the ZV, ZV', and ZIIR elements were concurrently mutated. HEK293 cell lines infected with this triple mutant (tmt) virus spontaneously synthesized 6- to 10-fold more viral BZLF1, BRLF1, BMRF1, and BLLF1 RNAs, 3- to 6-fold more viral Zta, Rta, and EAD proteins, 3- to 5-fold more viral DNA, and 7- to 9-fold more infectious virus than did 293 cell lines latently infected with either the ZV ZV' double mutant (dmt) or ZIIR mutant (mt) virus. While ZV ZV' ZIIR tmt EBV efficiently infected human primary blood B cells in vitro, it was highly defective in immortalizing them. Instead of the nearly complete silencing of BZLF1 gene expression that occurs within 4 days after primary infection with wild-type EBV, the ZV ZV' ZIIR tmt-infected cells continued to synthesize BZLF1 RNA, with 90% of them dying within 9 days postinfection. BL41 cells infected with this "superlytic" virus also exhibited increased synthesis of BZLF1 and BMRF1 RNAs. Thus, we conclude that the ZV, ZV', and ZIIR silencing elements act synergistically to repress transcription from Zp, thereby tightly controlling BZLF1 gene expression, which is crucial for establishing and maintaining EBV latency.
Journal of Virology 05/2012; 86(15):8086-96. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunosuppressed patients are at risk for developing Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-positive lymphomas that express the major EBV oncoprotein, LMP1. Although increasing evidence suggests that a small number of lytically infected cells may promote EBV-positive lymphomas, the impact of enhanced lytic gene expression on the ability of EBV to induce lymphomas is unclear. Here we have used immune-deficient mice, engrafted with human fetal hematopoietic stem cells and thymus and liver tissue, to compare lymphoma formation following infection with wild-type (WT) EBV versus infection with a "superlytic" (SL) mutant with enhanced BZLF1 (Z) expression. The same proportions (2/6) of the WT and SL virus-infected animals developed B-cell lymphomas by day 60 postinfection; the remainder of the animals had persistent tumor-free viral latency. In contrast, all WT and SL virus-infected animals treated with the OKT3 anti-CD3 antibody (which inhibits T-cell function) developed lymphomas by day 29. Lymphomas in OKT3-treated animals (in contrast to lymphomas in the untreated animals) contained many LMP1-expressing cells. The SL virus-infected lymphomas in both OKT3-treated and untreated animals contained many more Z-expressing cells (up to 30%) than the WT virus-infected lymphomas, but did not express late viral proteins and thus had an abortive lytic form of EBV infection. LMP1 and BMRF1 (an early lytic viral protein) were never coexpressed in the same cell, suggesting that LMP1 expression is incompatible with lytic viral reactivation. These results show that the SL mutant induces an "abortive" lytic infection in humanized mice that is compatible with continued cell growth and at least partially resistant to T-cell killing.
Journal of Virology 05/2012; 86(15):7976-87. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) BZLF1 gene encodes the immediate-early (IE) protein Zta, which plays a central role in regulating the switch between viral latency and lytic replication. A silencing element, ZIIR, is located between the ZID and ZII positive regulatory elements in the BZLF1 promoter Zp. We report here the phenotypes of variants of EBV strain B95.8 containing base substitution mutations in this ZIIR element. HEK293 cells infected with ZIIR mutant (ZIIRmt) virus produced at least 20-fold more viral IE Zta and Rta and early (E) EAD protein than did cells infected with the parental wild-type (WT) virus, leading to viral DNA replication and production of infectious virus. However, ZIIR mutant virus was 1/10 as efficient as WT virus in establishing proliferating B-cell clones following infection of human primary blood B cells. The ZIIRmt-infected lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) that did grow out exhibited a phenotype similar to the one observed in 293 cells, including marked overproduction of IE and E gene products relative to WT-infected LCLs and lytic replication of the viral genome. Incubation of the ZIIRmt-infected LCLs with the chemical inducer 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) led to much greater activation of Zp than did the same treatment of WT- or ZVmt-infected LCLs. Furthermore, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, bis-indolylmaleimide, eliminated this activation by TPA. Thus, we conclude that ZIIR is a potent silencing element of Zp; it plays a key role in establishment and maintenance of EBV latency by inhibiting activation of Zp through the PKC signal transduction pathway.
Journal of Virology 03/2011; 85(10):5081-90. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that the cellular protein ZEB1 can repress expression of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) BZLF1 gene in transient transfection assays by directly binding its promoter, Zp. We also reported that EBV containing a 2-bp substitution mutation in the ZEB-binding ZV element of Zp spontaneously reactivated out of latency into lytic replication at a higher frequency than did wild-type EBV. Here, using small interfering RNA (siRNA) and short hairpin RNA (shRNA) technologies, we definitively show that ZEB1 is, indeed, a key player in maintaining EBV latency in some epithelial and B-lymphocytic cell lines. However, in other EBV-positive epithelial and B-cell lines, another zinc finger E-box-binding protein, ZEB2/SIP1, is the key player. Both ZEB1 and ZEB2 can bind Zp via the ZV element. In EBV-positive cells containing only ZEB1, knockdown of ZEB1 led to viral reactivation out of latency, with synthesis of EBV immediate-early and early lytic gene products. However, in EBV-positive cells containing both ZEBs, ZEB2, not ZEB1, was the primary ZEB family member bound to Zp. Knockdown of ZEB2, but not ZEB1, led to EBV lytic reactivation. Thus, we conclude that either ZEB1 or ZEB2 can play a central role in the maintenance of EBV latency, doing so in a cell-type-dependent manner.
Journal of Virology 04/2010; 84(12):6139-52. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) immediate-early protein BZLF1 (Z) mediates the switch between latent and lytic EBV infection. Z not only activates early lytic viral gene transcription but also plays a direct role in lytic viral genome replication. Although a small fraction of Z is known to be sumoylated, the effects of this posttranslational modification on various different Z functions have not been well defined. In this report, we show that only the lysine at amino acid residue 12 is required for the sumoylation of Z, and that Z can be sumoylated by SUMO isoforms 1, 2, and 3. We also demonstrate that the sumo-defective Z mutants ZK12A and ZK12R have enhanced transcriptional activity. The sumoylated and nonsumoylated forms of Z were found to have a similar cellular location, both being localized primarily within the nuclear matrix. The Z sumo-defective mutants were, however, partially defective for disrupting promyelocytic leukemia (PML) bodies compared to the ability of wild-type Z. In addition, we show that lytic viral genome replication does not require the sumoylation of Z, although a Z mutant altered at both amino acids 12 and 13 is replication defective. Furthermore, we show that the sumoylation of Z is greatly increased (from less than 1 to about 11%) in lytically induced 293 cells infected with an EBV mutant virus deleted for the EBV-encoded protein kinase (EBV-PK) compared to that of 293 cells infected with wild-type EBV, and that the overexpression of EBV-PK leads to the reduced sumoylation of Z in EBV-negative cells. Our results suggest that the sumoylation of Z helps to promote viral latency, and that EBV-PK inhibits Z sumoylation during viral reactivation.
Journal of Virology 02/2010; 84(9):4383-94. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immediate-early (IE) BZLF1 gene of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) regulates the switch between latent and lytic infection by EBV. We previously showed that the cellular transcription factor ZEB1 binds to a sequence element, ZV, located at nt -17 to -12 relative to the transcription initiation site of the BZLF1 promoter, Zp, repressing transcription from Zp in a transient transfection assay. Here, we report the phenotype in the context of a whole EBV genome of a variant of EBV strain B95.8 containing a 2-bp substitution mutation in the ZV element of Zp that reduced, but did not eliminate, ZEB1 binding to Zp. Strikingly, epithelial 293 cells latently infected with the EBV ZV mutant spontaneously produced IE-, early-, and late-gene products and infectious virus, while wild-type (WT)-infected 293 cells did not and have never been reported to do so. Furthermore, treatment with the chemical inducers sodium butyrate and 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) led to an additional order-of-magnitude production of infectious virus in the ZV mutant-infected 293 cells, but still no virus in the WT-infected 293 cells. Similarly, ZV mutant-infected Burkitt's lymphoma BJAB cells accumulated at least 10-fold more EBV IE mRNAs than did WT-infected BJAB cells, with TPA or sodium butyrate treatment leading to an additional 5- to 10-fold accumulation of EBV IE mRNAs in the ZV mutant-infected cells. Thus, we conclude that ZEB1 binding to Zp plays a central role in regulating the latent-lytic switch in EBV-infected epithelial and B cells, suggesting ZEB1 as a target for lytic-induction therapies in EBV-associated malignancies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The induction of lytic infection has been proposed as a therapeutic strategy for treating Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive malignancies. To succeed, efficient methods are needed for activating the EBV immediate-early (IE) promoters, Zp and Rp. Here we compared factors which regulate Zp and Rp in AGS gastric carcinoma cells that support a remarkably high level of persistently lytic EBV infection with HeLa cervical cells that permit only tightly latent infection. We found that the level of Zp activity assayed by transient transfection assays with reporter plasmids was high in AGS cells but low in HeLa cells. The level of Rp activity was low in both cell types. Mutational analysis indicated that sequences within Zp located between -70 and +27 relative to the transcription initiation site were sufficient to confer a high level of Zp activity in AGS cells. The Zp CRE motif was necessary for this constitutive activity, while the ZIA and ZIB MEF2D motifs were not. Consistent with these findings, immunoblot analysis indicated that phosphorylated c-Jun, which activates Zp through the CRE motif, was expressed at a much higher level in EBV-infected AGS cells than in EBV-infected HeLa cells. In contrast, ZEB1, which represses Zp via the ZV motif located near the transcription initiation site, was abundant in HeLa cells, while it was absent from AGS cells. Exogenous addition of ZEB1 led to the repression of Zp in AGS cells. We conclude that the unusually high Zp activity level in AGS cells is due to the high abundance of positively acting transcription factors such as c-Jun combined with the low abundance of negatively acting factors such as ZEB1.
Journal of Virology 10/2007; 81(18):10113-22. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study the effects of the nuclear receptors (NRs) HNF4alpha and COUP-TF1 on the life cycle of hepatitis B virus (HBV), the human hepatoma cell line Huh7 was transiently cotransfected with plasmids containing the HBV genome and encoding these two NRs. Overexpression of HNF4alpha and COUP-TF1 led to a 9-fold increase and a 7- to 10-fold decrease, respectively, in viral DNA synthesis. These two NRs also exhibited distinct modes of regulation of viral transcription. Overexpression of HNF4alpha led to a more-than-10-fold increase in synthesis of the pregenomic RNA but to only a 2- to 3-fold increase in synthesis of the pre-C and S RNAs. Moreover, the NR response element within the pre-C promoter, NRRE(preC,) played the major role in activation of pregenomic RNA synthesis by HNF4alpha. On the other hand, overexpression of COUP-TF1 led to an over-10-fold repression of synthesis of both pre-C and pregenomic RNAs mediated through either NRRE(preC) or NRRE(enhI). HNF4alpha and COUP-TF1 antagonized each other's effects on synthesis of pregenomic RNA and viral DNA when they were co-overexpressed. A naturally occurring HBV variant which allows for binding by HNF4alpha but not COUP-TF1 in its NRRE(preC) exhibited significantly higher levels of synthesis of pregenomic RNA and viral DNA than wild-type HBV in coexpression experiments. Last, deletion analysis revealed that non-NRRE sequences located within both the C and pre-S1 regions are also essential for maximum activation of the pregenomic promoter by HNF4alpha but not for repression by COUP-TF1. Thus, HNF4alpha and COUP-TF1 function through different mechanisms to regulate expression of the HBV genes.
Journal of Virology 03/2003; 77(4):2489-99. · 5.08 Impact Factor