Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) BamHI-A rightward transcripts (BARTs; also designated complementary strand transcripts or CSTs) have been demonstrated to contain several splicing forms in EBV-infected cells. To date, however, little is known about the actual full-length splicing form and its functions. In the present study, we proved that six forms of BARTs were present in EBV-positive cell lines and various tissue specimens with different EBV infection patterns. Of the BART-encoded genes, mRNA of four major splicing forms, including BARF0, RPMS1, RPMS1A and A73, were expressed in all EBV-infected cells. On the other hand, mRNA of two minor splicing forms, RK-BARF0 and RB3, was rarely detected, or if at all, at very low expression levels. Both RPMS1A and RPMS1 mRNA was transcribed at higher levels in EBV-infected cells. In particular, RPMS1 mRNA was expressed abundantly in epithelial carcinoma cells, including gastric carcinoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma, in association with a lytic infection signal, BZLF1 mRNA. The four major splicing forms were expressed much less in B-cell lines with an integrated EBV genome than in those with episomal EBV genomes. These data indicate that at least six splicing forms can be expressed by EBV-infected cells or tissues, although the expression patterns or levels differ for different infection states such as lytic and latent infections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)