Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen leader protein coactivates EP300

Chong Wang, Hufeng Zhou, Yong Xue, Jun Liang, Yohei Narita, Catherine Gerdt, Amy Y. Zheng, Runsheng Jiang, Stephen Trudeau, Chih Wen Peng, Benjamin E. Gewurz, Bo Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen (EBNA) leader protein (EBNALP) is one of the first viral genes expressed upon B-cell infection. EBNALP is essential for EBVmediated B-cell immortalization. EBNALP is thought to function primarily by coactivating EBNA2-mediated transcription. Chromatin immune precipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) studies highlight that EBNALP frequently cooccupies DNA sites with host cell transcription factors (TFs), in particular, EP300, implicating a broader role in transcription regulation. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of EBNALP transcription coactivation through EP300. EBNALP greatly enhanced EP300 transcription activation when EP300 was tethered to a promoter. EBNALP coimmunoprecipitated endogenous EP300 from lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). EBNALP W repeat serine residues 34, 36, and 63 were required for EP300 association and coactivation. Deletion of the EP300 histone acetyltransferase (HAT) domain greatly reduced EBNALP coactivation and abolished the EBNALP association. An EP300 bromodomain inhibitor also abolished EBNALP coactivation and blocked the EP300 association with EBNALP. EBNALP sites cooccupied by EP300 had significantly higher ChIP-seq signals for sequence-specific TFs, including SPI1, RelA, EBF1, IRF4, BATF, and PAX5. EBNALP- and EP300-cooccurring sites also had much higher H3K4me1 and H3K27ac signals, indicative of activated enhancers. EBNALPonly sites had much higher signals for DNA looping factors, including CTCF and RAD21. EBNALP coactivated reporters under the control of NF-κB or SPI1. EP300 inhibition abolished EBNALP coactivation of these reporters. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat interference targeting of EBNALP enhancer sites significantly reduced target gene expression, including that of EP300 itself. These data suggest a previously unrecognized mechanism by which EBNALP coactivates transcription through subverting of EP300 and thus affects the expression of LCL genes regulated by a broad range of host TFs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere02155-17
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Elliott Kieff for insightful discussions. We also thank David Livingston, Yang Shi, and Andy Bell for generously providing plasmids. We thank Lian Wang and Jeffrey Lin for helpful discussions. This work was funded by NIAID AI123420, NCI CA047006, and CA170023 (to B.Z.), by Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fellowship 5444-16 to H.Z., and by a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in Medical Sciences to B.E.G

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


  • Coactivation
  • EP300
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Transcription factor


Dive into the research topics of 'Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen leader protein coactivates EP300'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this