Expression of the Epstein-Barr virus nuclear protein 2 in rodent cells

T Dambaugh, F Wang, K Hennessy, E Woodland, A Rickinson, E Kieff
1986 Journal of Virology  
A 3.0-kilobase-pair Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA segment necessary for lymphocyte immortalization encodes at least part of a nuclear protein (EBNA2) which is characteristically expressed in latently infected, immortalized cells. A 1.5-kilobase open reading frame within this DNA segment has now been inserted into a murine leukemia virus (MuLV)-derived expression vector (pZIP-NEO-SV(X)1) which provides for transcription of heterologous DNA but not for translational start. Transfection of the
more » ... binant DNA into NIH 3T3 cells resulted in expression of a full-sized EBNA2 which localized to the cell nucleus. Significant new evidence is thereby provided that this 1.5 kilobase open reading frame includes a translational start site and encodes the entire EBNA2 protein. Transfection of the recombinant DNA into a helper cell line (psi am22b) providing amphotropic MuLV-packaging functions resulted in the release of a recombinant MuLV carrying the EBNA2 gene. This recombinant virus can infect rodent cells and convert them to stable EBNA2 expression. Rat-1 cells infected with the MuLV EBNA2 recombinant expressed EBNA2 and grew more rapidly in medium supplemented with 1 or 0.5% fetal calf serum than did Rat-I cells infected with MuLV vector lacking EBNA2. The Rat-1 cells expressing EBNA2 remained contact inhibited, anchorage dependent, and nontumorigenic in nude mice. Different EBV isolates have one of at least two EBNA2 alleles. Despite divergence between the two alleles, a human serum recognized the prototype EBNA2 allele (EBNA2A) as well as the variant EBNA2B allele characteristic of some Burkitt tumor EBV isolates. The EBNA2B allele was also expressed from the MuLV-derived vector. The reproducible expression of EBNA2A or EBNA2B from these recombinant vectors will facilitate analysis of the EBNA2A and EBNA2B phenotypes. 453 on May 8, 2020 by guest
doi:10.1128/jvi.59.2.453-462.1986 fatcat:jep2o2wn2jhancvexlpn35fa7a