Chau CM, Deng Z, Kang H, Lieberman PM
The Epstein-Barr virus C promoter (Cp) regulates the major multicistronic transcript encoding the EBNA-LP, 1, 2, and 3 genes required for B-cell proliferation during latency. The growth-transforming potential of these viral genes suggests that they must be tightly regulated with the host cell cycle and differentiation process. To better understand Cp regulation, we used DNA affinity purification to identify cellular and viral proteins that bind to Cp in latently infected cells. Several previously unknown factors were identified, including the cell cycle regulatory proteins E2F1 and Rb. E2F1 bound to a specific site in Cp located in the core Cp region 3' of the known EBNA2-responsive RBP-Jk (CSL, CBF1) binding site. The histone H3 K4 demethylase LSD1 (BCC110) was also identified by DNA affinity and was shown to form a stable complex with Rb. Coimmunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that E2F1, Rb, and LSD1 bind to Cp in a cell cycle-dependent manner. Rb and LSD1 binding to Cp increased after the S phase, corresponding to a decrease in histone H3 K4 methylation and Cp transcription. Coimmunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence assays reveal that LSD1 interacts with Rb. Surprisingly, LSD1 did not coimmunoprecipitate with E2F1, suggesting that it associates with Rb independently of E2F1. Depletion of LSD1 by small interfering RNAs inhibited Cp basal transcription levels, and overexpression of LSD1 altered the cell cycle profile in p53-positive (p53(+)), but not p53-negative (p53(-)), HCT cells. These findings indicate that Cp is a cell cycle-regulated promoter that is under the control of Rb and the histone demethylase LSD1 in multiple latency types.