Research Papers:

Characterization of the subcellular localization of Epstein-Barr virus encoded proteins in live cells

Mingsheng Cai _, Zongmin Liao, Tao Chen, Ping Wang, Xingmei Zou, Yuanfang Wang, Zuo Xu, Si Jiang, Jinlu Huang, Daixiong Chen, Tao Peng, Gengde Hong and Meili Li

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:70006-70034. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19549

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Mingsheng Cai2, Zongmin Liao2, Tao Chen2, Ping Wang2, Xingmei Zou2, Yuanfang Wang2, Zuo Xu2, Si Jiang2, Jinlu Huang3, Daixiong Chen2, Tao Peng2, Gengde Hong4 and Meili Li1,2

1Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510260, Guangdong, China

2Department of Pathogenic Biology and Immunology, Sino-French Hoffmann Institute, School of Basic Medical Science, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 511436, Guangdong, China

3Guangdong Haid Group Co., Ltd., Guangzhou 511400, Guandong, China

4The Third Clinical School of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510150, Guangdong, China

Correspondence to:

Meili Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Epstein-Barr virus, subcellular localization, live cell microscopy

Received: February 03, 2017     Accepted: June 29, 2017     Published: July 25, 2017


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the pathogenic factor of numerous human tumors, yet certain of its encoded proteins have not been studied. As a first step for functional identification, we presented the construction of a library of expression constructs for most of the EBV encoded proteins and an explicit subcellular localization map of 81 proteins encoded by EBV in mammalian cells. Viral open reading frames were fused with enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) tag in eukaryotic expression plasmid then expressed in COS-7 live cells, and protein localizations were observed by fluorescence microscopy. As results, 34.57% (28 proteins) of all proteins showed pan-nuclear or subnuclear localization, 39.51% (32 proteins) exhibitted pan-cytoplasmic or subcytoplasmic localization, and 25.93% (21 proteins) were found in both the nucleus and cytoplasm. Interestingly, most envelope proteins presented pan-cytoplasmic or membranous localization, and most capsid proteins displayed enriched or complete localization in the nucleus, indicating that the subcellular localization of specific proteins are associated with their roles during viral replication. Taken together, the subcellular localization map of EBV proteins in live cells may lay the foundation for further illustrating the functions of EBV-encoded genes in human diseases especially in its relevant tumors.

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