The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) BamHI-A rightward transcripts, or BARTs, are a family of mRNAs expressed in all EBV latency programs, including EBV-infected B cells in healthy carriers. Despite their ubiquitous expression, the regulation and biological function of BARTs are still unclear. In this study, the BART 5′ termini were characterized by using a procedure that selects capped, full-length mRNAs. Two TATA-less promoter regions, designated P1 and P2, were mapped. P1 had relatively high basal activity in both epithelial and B cells, whereas P2 exhibited higher activity in epithelial cells. Upon EBV infection of B cells, transcription from P1 was detected soon after infection, while expression from P2 was delayed. Promoter-reporter assays in transiently transfected cells revealed that P1 and P2 were differentially regulated. Interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) and IRF5 negatively regulated P1 activity. c-Myc and C/EBP family members positively regulated P2. Regulation of P2 by C/EBPs was characterized by electrophoretic mobility shift assay, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and reporter assays. More-abundant BART expression in epithelial cells correlated with the relative expression of positive and negative regulators in these cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science