1887

Abstract

Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) replicates in superficial differentiated cells of oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL). Differentiation of squamous epithelial cells depends on B-lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp1). Here we show that expression of the EBV immediate-early protein BZLF1 is restricted to Blimp1-positive epithelial cells in OHL. Luciferase assays revealed Blimp1-dependent induction of the BZLF1 promoter Zp in epithelial cell lines. Expression of ZEB1, a negative regulator of Zp, and of Xbp-1, which mediates the Blimp1 effect on Zp in B-cells, was not affected by enforced Blimp1 expression. Moreover, Xbp-1 protein expression was not detected in differentiated epithelial cells of OHL. Thus, Blimp1 induces BZLF1 expression in epithelial cells independently of ZEB1 and Xbp-1. In contrast to epithelial cells of OHL, BZLF1 expression was also observed in Blimp1-negative lymphoid cells in infectious mononucleosis tonsils, suggesting that EBV replication in B-cells may be induced independently of terminal differentiation.

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2012-05-01
2020-06-01
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