Enhancement of hepatitis C virus replication by Epstein-Barr virus-encoded nuclear antigen 1

Yasuhiko Sugawara, Masatoshi Makuuchi, Nobuyuki Kato, Kunitada Shimotohno, Kenzo Takada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Based on our recent observation that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is detected in 37% of the tissues of hepatocellular carcinoma, and especially frequently in cases with hepatitis C virus (HCV), the effect of EBV infection on the replication of HCV was investigated. EBV-infected cell clones and their EBV-uninfected counterparts in cell lines MT-2 (a human T-lymphotropic virus type I-infected T-cell line), HepG2 (a hepatoblastoma cell line) and Akata (a Burkitt's lymphoma cell line) were compared in terms of their permissiveness for HCV replication following inoculation of HCV derived from patients who were HCV carriers. The results indicated that EBV infected cell clones, but not their EBV-uninfected counterparts, promoted HCV replication. EBV-encoded nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1), which is invariably expressed in EBV-infected cells, supported HCV replication. Deletion analysis of the EBNA1 gene showed good correlation between transactivation activity and the activity supporting HCV replication. The present findings suggest that EBV acts as a helper virus for HCV replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5755-5760
Number of pages6
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • EBNA1
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Transactivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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