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Open Access Research

Epstein - Barr virus latent membrane protein 1 suppresses reporter activity through modulation of promyelocytic leukemia protein-nuclear bodies

Mark D Sides1, Gregory J Block3, Reid W Chadwick1, Bin Shan1, Erik K Flemington2 and Joseph A Lasky1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, Section of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care, Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA, 70112, USA

2 Department of Pathology, Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA, 70112, USA

3 University of Washington Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, 815 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA, 98108, USA

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:461  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-461

Published: 5 October 2011


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encoded Latent Membrane Protein 1 (LMP1) has been shown to increase the expression of promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) and the immunofluorescent intensity of promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML NBs). PML NBs have been implicated in the modulation of transcription and the association of reporter plasmids with PML NBs has been implicated in repression of reporter activity. Additionally, repression of various reporters in the presence of LMP1 has been noted. This study demonstrates that LMP1 suppresses expression of reporter activity in a dose responsive manner and corresponds with the LMP1 induced increase in PML NB intensity. Disruption of PML NBs with arsenic trioxide or a PML siRNA restores reporter activity. These data offer an explanation for previously conflicting data on LMP1 signaling and calls attention to the possibility of false-positives and false-negatives when using reporter assays as a research tool in cells expressing LMP1.

Latent Membrane Protein 1; Epstein - Barr virus; reporter assay; promyelocytic leukemia protein; promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies; arsenic trioxide