A transcription factor with homology to the AP-1 family links RNA transcription and DNA replication in the lytic cycle of Epstein-Barr virus

EMBO J. 1993 Oct;12(10):3921-9. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1993.tb06070.x.


oriLyt, the lytic origin of DNA replication of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), ensures viral DNA amplification during the productive or lytic phase of the virus' life cycle. To understand the contribution of cis- and transacting elements involved in DNA replication of oriLyt, a detailed mutational analysis was undertaken which defined BZLF1, a viral transcriptional activator, as an essential replication factor. The BZLF1 protein belongs to the extended fos/jun family of transcription factors and binds to specific BZLF1 binding motifs within oriLyt, as well as to consensus AP-1 sites. Recombinant, chimeric transcription factors identified the transcriptional activation domain of BZLF1 as being necessary to mediate DNA replication, a function which could not be substituted by any other transcription factor tested, including jun, E2, myc or VP16.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Viral / biosynthesis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / physiology
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-jun / metabolism*
  • RNA, Viral / biosynthesis
  • Sequence Homology
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*


  • BZLF1 protein, Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • DNA, Viral
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-jun
  • RNA, Viral
  • Trans-Activators
  • Viral Proteins