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PloS one

An RS motif within the Epstein-Barr virus BLRF2 tegument protein is phosphorylated by SRPK2 and is important for viral replication.


PMID 23326445

Abstract

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a gammaherpesvirus that causes infectious mononucleosis, B cell lymphomas, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Many of the genes required for EBV virion morphogenesis are found in all herpesviruses, but some are specific to gammaherpesviruses. One of these gamma-specific genes, BLRF2, encodes a tegument protein that has been shown to be essential for replication in other gammaherpesviruses. In this study, we identify BLRF2 interacting proteins using binary and co-complex protein assays. Serine/Arginine-rich Protein Kinase 2 (SRPK2) was identified by both assays and was further shown to phosphorylate an RS motif in the BLRF2 C-terminus. Mutation of this RS motif (S148A+S150A) abrogated the ability of BLRF2 to support replication of a murine gammaherpesvirus 68 genome lacking the BLRF2 homolog (ORF52). We conclude that the BLRF2 RS motif is phosphorylated by SRPK2 and is important for viral replication.