siRNAs against the Epstein Barr virus latency replication factor, EBNA1, inhibit its function and growth of EBV-dependent tumor cells

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Abstract

The Epstein Barr virus (EBV) plays a role in maintenance of the tumor phenotype in a number of human cancers. The EBV latency replication factor, EBNA1, is required for persistence of the EBV episome, is anti-apoptotic, and is universally expressed in all EBV-associated tumors. Here, we show that EBNA1-specific siRNAs can inhibit EBNA1 expression and function. siRNAs were generated against three target sites in the EBNA1 messenger RNA, and two of these were found to inhibit EBNA1 expression from an ectopic EBNA1 expression cassette. EBNA1 siRNAs also inhibit endogenously expressed EBNA1 in EBV-positive epithelial and B-cell lines. Using a mini-EBV replication model, siRNA-mediated inhibition of EBNA1 expression suppressed the episomal maintenance function of EBNA1. Lastly, introduction of an EBNA1 siRNA into an EBV-positive tumor cell line inhibited tumor cell growth/survival. These data suggest that siRNAs against EBNA1 may have therapeutic value in EBV-associated diseases. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Yin, Q., & Flemington, E. K. (2006). siRNAs against the Epstein Barr virus latency replication factor, EBNA1, inhibit its function and growth of EBV-dependent tumor cells. Virology, 346(2), 385–393. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2005.11.021

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