Epstein-Barr Virus Encodes a Novel Homolog of the bcl-2 Oncogene That Inhibits Apoptosis and Associates with Bax and Bak

William L. Marshall, Ching Yim, Erik Gustafson, Thomas Graf, David R. Sage, Katherine Hanify, Louisa Williams, Joyce Fingeroth, Robert W. Finberg
1999 Journal of Virology  
The sequenced gammaherpesviruses each contain a single viralbcl-2 homolog (v-bcl-2) which may encode a protein that functions in preventing the apoptotic death of virus-infected cells. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a gammaherpesvirus associated with several lymphoid and epithelial malignancies, encodes the v-Bcl-2 homolog BHRF1. In this report the previously uncharacterized BALF1 open reading frame in EBV is identified as having significant sequence similarity to other v-bcl-2 homologs and cellular
more » ... mologs and cellular bcl-2. Transfection of cells with a BALF1 cDNA conferred apoptosis resistance. Furthermore, a recombinant green fluorescent protein-BALF1 fusion protein suppressed apoptosis and associated with Bax and Bak. These results indicate that EBV encodes a second functional v-bcl-2.
doi:10.1128/jvi.73.6.5181-5185.1999 fatcat:qlnu6lbidnbjdbcephddiy7rea