1887

Abstract

We have studied the relative rate of transcription across the Epstein-Barr virus genome in the Burkitt’s lymphoma cell line Raji by nuclear run-on analysis during latency and after induction of an abortive lytic cycle with 12--tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) and 5-iodo-2′-deoxyuridine (IUdR). During latency the entire, or almost the entire, viral genome was found to be transcriptionally active to a low or intermediate extent, with some variation in activity along the genome. The fragment with the highest transcriptional activity was RI J, which contains the genes encoding the small nuclear RNAs EBER1 and -2, transcribed predominantly by RNA polymerase III. An intermediate level of transcription was observed between positions 10 and 138 (kb), with areas of slightly higher activity on the large internal repeats and the left duplicated region (DL). The remaining part of the viral genome, between position 138 and the termini, and the termini and position 10 (kb) (with the exception of the RI J fragment), showed very little transcriptional activity, except for the intermediately active regions carrying the righthand (DR) and the terminal repeats. Upon induction of the viral genome with TPA and IUdR, the viral genome was transcriptionally active at a rate at least tenfold that seen during latency. Polymerases were not equally distributed along the genome after induction; the highest density was found in regions 48 to 58 kb, 82 to 84 kb, 102 to 104 kb, 118 to 122 kb and 142 to 145 kb of the viral genome. High transcriptional activity correlated with distinct transcription units in some cases, i.e. HI HILF1 (DL), HI MLF1, HI ZLF1/HI RLF1 and HI X (thymidine kinase), but not in others (HI H2). Besides initiation of transcription, other regulatory processes such as stabilization and processing of primary transcripts may also contribute to regulation of virus gene expression. Addition of cycloheximide completely abolished the transcriptional activation of the genome mediated by TPA and IUdR.

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1991-10-01
2021-10-18
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