Virology, Nebraska Center for


Date of this Version

October 2004


Published in Journal of Biological Chemistry 279:44 (October 29, 2004), pp. 46335–46342. Copyright © 2004 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Used by permission.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is associated with several human cancers. Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1) is one of the key viral proteins required for transformation of primary B cells in vitro and establishment of EBV latency. In this report, we show that LMP-1 is able to induce the expression of several interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes (ISGs) with antiviral properties such as 2’-5’ oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS), stimulated trans-acting factor of 50 kDa (STAF- 50), and ISG-15. LMP-1 inhibits vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) replication at low multiplicity of infection (0.1 pfu/cell). The antiviral effect of LMP-1 is associated with the ability of LMP-1 to induce ISGs; an LMP-1 mutant that cannot induce ISGs fails to induce an antiviral state. High levels of ISGs are expressed in EBV latency cells in which LMP-1 is expressed. EBV latency cells have antiviral activity that inhibits replication of superinfecting VSV. The antiviral activity of LMP-1 is apparently not related to IFN production in our experimental systems. In addition, EBV latency is responsive to viral superinfection: LMP-1 is induced and EBV latency is disrupted by EBV lytic replication during VSV superinfection of EBV latency cells. These data suggest that LMP-1 has antiviral effect, which may be an intrinsic part of EBV latency program to assist the establishment and/or maintenance of EBV latency.

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