The intact terminal protein genes (TP1 and TP2) of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are created upon infection by circularization of the linear viral genome at its terminal repeats. The structure of the 1.7 kb TP2 latent mRNA has been determined by cDNA analysis and Northern blotting, revealing its close relation to TP1 mRNA. The 1.7 kb transcript is expressed from a different promoter and has a different 5′ exon from TP1 but is also spliced across the terminal repeats. The last eight exons are common to the TP1 and TP2 RNAs. The TP2 promoter is 3.3 kb downstream of the TP1 promoter and is part of a bidirectional latent EBV promoter region transcribing the TP2 and the latent membrane protein RNAs in opposite directions.

Keyword(s): EBV , latent cycle and transcription

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