The Impact of Deleting Stem-Loop 1 of Epstein-Barr Virus-Encoded RNA 1 on Cell Proliferation

Zubaida Hassan, Pretty S. Philip, Gulfaraz Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNAs (EBERs) are two small, noncoding, structurally conserved transcripts, constitutively expressed at >106 copies per EBV-infected cell. They have been shown to drive cell growth. However, the mechanism(s) involved in EBER-induced proliferation is not clear. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms and structural impact of EBER1. Sequences of EBER1 stem-loops (SL) 1, 3, and 4 were deleted, creating three mutants: ∆SL1, ∆SL3, and ∆SL4. These mutants were cloned into pHebo plasmids and expressed in Jurkat cell lines. Cells transfected with wildtype EBER1 and pHebo were used as controls. Cell proliferation was monitored by microscopy and flow cytometry. Microarray, qPCR, and Western blotting were used to investigate the cell cycle markers. We found significantly higher cell proliferation in wildtype EBER1 cells compared to pHebo, ∆SL1, and ∆SL3, but not ∆SL4 mutants. There was also significant upregulation of S-phase and G2/M phase markers in wildtype EBER1 and ∆SL4 mutant. Furthermore, CDT1, a factor for DNA replication, was upregulated in wildtype EBER1 and ∆SL4 mutant. However, in ∆SL1 mutant, CDT1 was significantly downregulated and translocated to the cytoplasm. These data indicate that the structure of EBER1 is important in cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2538
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 16 2022


  • CDT1
  • EBER1 structure
  • molecular mechanism
  • mutants
  • proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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