Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Virology


Geisel School of Medicine


Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68) ORF73 (mLANA) has sequence homology to Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA). LANA acts on the KSHV terminal repeat (TR) elements to mediate KSHV episome maintenance. Disruption of mLANA expression severely reduces the ability of MHV68 to establish latent infection in mice, consistent with the possibility that mLANA mediates episome persistence. Here we assess the roles of mLANA and MHV68 TR (mTR) elements in episome persistence. mTR-associated DNA persisted as an episome in latently MHV68-infected tumor cells, demonstrating that the mTR elements can serve as a cis-acting element for MHV68 episome maintenance. In some cases, both control vector and mTR-associated DNAs integrated into MHV68 episomal genomes. Therefore, we also assessed the roles of mTRs as well as mLANA in the absence of infection. DNA containing both mLANA and mTRs in cis persisted as an episome in murine A20 or MEF cells. In contrast, mTR DNA never persisted as an episome in the absence of mLANA. mLANA levels were increased when mLANA was expressed from its native promoters, and episome maintenance was more efficient with higher mLANA levels. Increased numbers of mTRs conferred more efficient episome maintenance, since DNA containing mLANA and eight mTR elements persisted more efficiently in A20 cells than did DNA with mLANA and two or four mTRs. Similar to KSHV LANA, mLANA broadly associated with mitotic chromosomes but relocalized to concentrated dots in the presence of episomes. Therefore, mLANA acts on mTR elements to mediate MHV68 episome persistence.



Original Citation

Habison AC, Beauchemin C, Simas JP, Usherwood EJ, Kaye KM. Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 LANA acts on terminal repeat DNA to mediate episome persistence. J Virol. 2012 Nov;86(21):11863-76. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01656-12. Epub 2012 Aug 22. PMID: 22915819; PMCID: PMC3486315.