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Identification and mapping of Epstein-Barr virus early antigens and demonstration of a viral gene activator that functions in trans.

By K M Wong and A J Levine


The BamHI M DNA fragment of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome was inserted in two orientations into a simian virus 40-based expression vector, and the EBV-specific proteins produced in COS-7 monkey cells were examined. In one orientation, termed BamHI-M rightward reading frame 1 (BMRF1), a set of phosphoproteins ranging in size from 47,000 to 54,000 daltons was synthesized. These proteins reacted with monoclonal and polyclonal antisera, defining them as components of the EBV early antigen diffuse set of proteins (EA-D). The BamHI M DNA fragment in the opposite orientation, termed BamHI-M leftward reading frame 1 (BMLF1), directed the synthesis of a nuclear antigen detected by antibodies in serum from a patient with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The BMLF1 antigen was not detected by monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies directed against the EA-D complex. A series of deletion mutants were constructed in the BamHI M DNA fragment, and the EA-D complex and BMLF1 antigen were mapped to discrete open reading frames in this DNA fragment. A test for several possible functions of these antigens showed that the BMLF1 antigen had the ability to activate or enhance, in trans, the level of expression of a gene under the control of the adenovirus early region 3 promoter or the simian virus 40 early promoter in the absence of its cis-acting enhancer. These experiments demonstrate a new gene function, encoded by EBV, that may be important in the positive regulation of viral or cellular genes

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1986
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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