Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) BKRF3 shares sequence homology with members of the uracil-N-glycosylase (UNG) protein family and has DNA glycosylase activity. Here, we explored how BKRF3 participates in the DNA replication complex and contributes to viral DNA replication. Exogenously expressed Flag-BKRF3 was distributed mostly in the cytoplasm, whereas BKRF3 was translocated into the nucleus and colocalized with the EBV DNA polymerase BALF5 in the replication compartment during EBV lytic replication. The expression level of BKRF3 increased gradually during viral replication, coupled with a decrease of cellular UNG2, suggesting BKRF3 enzyme activity compensates for UNG2 and ensures the fidelity of viral DNA replication. In immuno precipitation- Western blotting, BKRF3 was coimmunoprecipitated with BALF5, the polymerase processivity factor BMRF1, and the immediate-early transactivator Rta. Coexpression of BMRF1 appeared to facilitate the nuclear targeting of BKRF3 in immuno fluorescence staining. Residues 164 to 255 of BKRF3 were required for interaction with Rta and BALF5, whereas residues 81 to 166 of BKRF3 were critical for BMRF1 interaction in glutathione S-transferase (GST) pulldown experiments. Viral DNA replication was defective in cells harboring BKRF3 knockout EBV bacmids. In complementation assays, the catalytic mutant BKRF3(Q90L,D91N) restored viral DNA replication, whereas the leucine loop mutant BKRF3(H213L) only partially rescued viral DNA replication, coupled with a reduced ability to interact with the viral DNA polymerase and Rta. Our data suggest that BKRF3 plays a critical role in viral DNA synthesis predominantly through its interactions with viral proteins in the DNA replication compartment, while its enzymatic activity may be supplementary for uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG) function during virus replication.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science