Cocaine Potentiates the Switch between Latency and Replication of Epstein–Barr Virus in Raji Cells

Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, Microbiology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.3). 11/1999; 264(1):33-6. DOI: 10.1006/bbrc.1999.1447
Source: PubMed


This paper shows that cocaine amplifies Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation in Raji cells. Its effect on early viral protein synthesis was maximal when it was added with 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) plus n-butyrate, but nil when added alone. The enhancing effect of cocaine on early replicative stages of latent EBV was associated with an increase of Ca(2+) mobilization induced by the drug and with an induction of cellular protein phosphorylation in chemicals and cocaine-treated Raji cells. Cocaine also acted synergistically with TPA and n-butyrate to induce Z Epstein-Barr replication activator (ZEBRA), a nuclear phosphoprotein responsible for the activation of early viral gene expression. These findings provide the first evidence that cocaine may represent an important co-factor in the reactivation of early stages of latent EBV infection.

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