Epstein-Barr virus immediate-early proteins BZLF1 and BRLF1 alter mitochondrial morphology during lytic replication

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jul 29;333(2):438-42. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.05.120.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a human DNA virus that is responsible for the syndrome infectious mononucleosis, and is associated with several forms of cancer. During both lytic and latent viral infection, viral proteins manipulate the host's cellular components to aid in viral replication and maintenance. Here, it is demonstrated that induction of EBV lytic replication results in a dramatic reorganization of mitochondria accompanied by a significant alteration of mitochondrial membrane potential and a rapid and transient increase in the microtubular cytoskeleton. Moreover, we show that expression of the EBV immediate-early genes BZLF1 and BRLF1 contributes to the mitochondrial alteration but not the increase in the microtubule cytoskeleton, suggesting that the mechanism for the observed cytoplasmic restructuring involves a number of coordinated viral and host proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology*
  • Epithelial Cells / virology*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / pathology*
  • Mitochondria / virology
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*
  • Virus Replication / physiology*


  • BRLF1 protein, Human herpesvirus 4
  • BZLF1 protein, Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Viral Proteins