The relative contents of Epstein—Barr virus (EBV)-associated nuclear antigen (EBNA) and average numbers of EBV genome equivalents per cell were determined (i) in Raji cells superinfected with P3HR-1 virus, (ii) in Raji cells induced by 12--tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and sodium n-butyrate and (iii) in P3HR-1 cells induced by TPA and sodium n-butyrate. This treatment was followed by increases in the percentage of early antigen (in both Raji and P3HR-1 cells) and virus capsid antigen-positive cells (in P3HR-1 cells) and increases of approximately 20-fold in the average number of EBV DNA equivalents in superinfected Raji cells and in TPA- and sodium n-butyrate-induced P3HR-1 cells. However, the content of EBNA in these cells dropped. This was revealed by a decrease in both the complement-fixing antigen content and in the proportion of EBNA-positive cells as determined by anti-complement immunofluorescence. Thus, the positive correlation found previously between the content of EBNA and the number of EBV genome equivalents per cell in proliferating lymphoblastoid cultures does not seem to apply to the situation in either superinfected Raji cells or in P3HR-1 cells induced by TPA and sodium n-butyrate.

Keyword(s): EBNA , EBV , genome equivalents and induction

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