Latently infected B lymphocytes continuously express an Epstein-Barr Virus nuclear antigen (EBNA-1) required in trans for maintenance of the plasmid state of the EBV genome. Filter binding assays and DNAase I footprinting analyses revealed that the carboxy-terminal domain of EBNA-1 protects binding sites at three different loci in the 172,000 bp EBV genome. Two of these loci correspond to essential elements within an 1800 bp segment defined as the minimal region required for plasmid maintenance (ori-P). Binding to each of 20 × 30 bp tandem repeats in the "sink" locus protects 25 bp centered over a 12 bp palindromic consensus sequence TAGCATATGCTA. The nearby dyad symmetry "origin" locus contains two 46 bp protected regions each encompassing two paired core binding sites. The demonstration of sequence-specific binding at multiple loci suggests that EBNA-1 has pleiotropic functions, which may include control of copy number and segregation of the EBV plasmids as well as initiation of replication.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)