Epstein-Barr virus-encoded EBNA1 regulates cellular gene transcription and modulates the STAT1 and TGFβ signaling pathways

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded EBNA1 protein is expressed in all virus-associated tumors where it plays an essential role in the maintenance, replication and transcription of the EBV genome. Transcriptional profiling of EBNA1-expressing carcinoma cells demonstrated that EBNA1 also influences the expression of a range of cellular genes including those involved in translation, transcription and cell signaling. Of particular interest was the ability of EBNA1 to enhance expression of STAT1 and sensitize cells to interferon-induced STAT1 activation with resultant enhancement of major histocompatibility complex expression. A negative effect of EBNA1 on the expression of TGFbeta1-responsive betaig-h3 and PAI-1 genes was confirmed at the protein level in EBV-infected carcinoma cells. This effect resulted from the ability of EBNA1 to repress TGFbeta1-induced transcription via a reduction in the interaction of SMAD2 with SMAD4. More detailed analysis revealed that EBNA1 induces a lower steady-state level of SMAD2 protein as a consequence of increased protein turnover. These data show that EBNA1 can influence cellular gene transcription resulting in effects that may contribute to the development of EBV-associated tumors.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4135-4147
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2007


  • EBNA1, SMAD2, EBV, STAT1, TGF beta 1