Howell, M and Williams, T and Hazlewood, SA (2005) Herpesvirus pan encodes a functional homologue of BHRF1, the Epstein-Barr virus v-Bcl-2. BMC Microbiology, 5. 6 -?. ISSN 1471-2180

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latently infects about 90% of the human population and is associated with benign and malignant diseases of lymphoid and epithelial origin. BHRF1, an early lytic cycle antigen, is an apoptosis suppressing member of the Bcl-2 family. In vitro studies imply that BHRF1 is dispensable for both virus replication and transformation. However, the fact that BHRF1 is highly conserved not only in all EBV isolates studied to date but also in the analogous viruses Herpesvirus papio and Herpesvirus pan that infect baboons and chimpanzees respectively, suggests BHRF1 may play an important role in vivo. RESULTS: Herpesvirus papio BHRF1 has been shown to function in an analogous manner to EBV BHRF1 in response to DNA damaging agents in human keratinocytes. In this study we show that the heterologous expression of the previously uncharacterised Herpesvirus pan BHRF1 in the human Burkitt's lymphoma cell line Ramos-BL provides similar anti-apoptotic functions to that of EBV BHRF1 in response to apoptosis triggered by serum withdrawal, etoposide treatment and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. We also map the amino acid changes onto the recently solved structure of the EBV BHRF1 and reveal that these changes are unlikely to alter the 3D structure of the protein. CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that the functional conservation of BHRF1 extends to a lymphoid background, suggesting that the primate virus proteins interact with cellular proteins that are themselves highly conserved across the higher primates. Further weight is added to this suggestion when we show that the difference in amino acid sequences map to regions on the 3D structure of EBV BHRF1 that are unlikely to change the conformation of the protein.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2016 09:05
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2016 09:05
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/2662

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