The reactivation of latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) to lytic replication is important in pathogenesis and requires virus-host cellular interactions. However, the mechanism underlying the reactivation of EBV is not yet fully understood. In the present study, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) was shown to induce the reactivation of latent EBV by triggering BZLF1 expression. The BZLF1 promoter (Zp) was not activated by HSV-1 essential glycoprotein-induced membrane fusion. Nevertheless, Zp was activated within 6 h post HSV-1 infection in virus entry-dependent and replication-independent manners. Using a panel of Zp deletion mutants, HSV-1 was shown to promote Zp through a cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element (CRE) located in ZII. The phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding (phos-CREB) protein, the cellular transactivator that binds to CRE, also increased after HSV-1 infection. By transient transfection, cAMP-dependent protein kinase A and HSV-1 US3 protein were found to be capable of activating Zp in CREB- and CRE-dependent manners. The relationship between EBV activation and HSV-1 infection revealed a possible common mechanism that stimulated latent EBV into lytic cycles in vivo.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.