• Division of Microbiology (Kanda lab), Faculty of Medicine, Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University

An EBV paper came out from UCSD

Yesterday, a “Web of Science Alert” e-mail informed me about a Nature paper on EBV research. The article states that human chromosome 11q23 has a clustered repeat to which the viral protein EBNA1 binds and that 11q23-specific chromosomal break occurs when the expression level of EBNA1 increases. There have been reports that EBNA1 is involved in genomic instability, but this is the first report that EBNA1 targets a specific chromosomal site. Even more surprising is that the paper came from Don Cleveland’s lab at UCSD. I had the opportunity to be with Don regularly at an interlaboratory meeting while studying abroad at Geoff Wahl’s laboratory in Salk. Don gave me a strong impression through his brilliant comments in various discussions. It is surprising to see an EBV-related paper from Don’s lab. Since the expression level of EBNA1 protein is very low in EBV-latently infected cells, I wonder whether the chromosomal break observed after induced EBNA1 expression in vitro also occurs in vivo. The authors also demonstrated that EBV associates with the enrichment of chromosome 11 rearrangements across various tumors in vivo, which is remarkable.