Profiling of Epstein-Barr virus latent RNA expression in clinical specimens by gene-specific multiprimed cDNA synthesis and PCR

Servi J C Stevens, Antoinette A T P Brink, Jaap M Middeldorp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We describe a two-step RT-PCR method for simultaneous detection of EBNA-1 (QK and Y3K splice variants), EBNA-2, LMP-1, LMP-2a and -2b, ZEBRA, and BARTs RNA encoded by Epstein-Barr virus. As a control for RNA integrity, the low-copy-number transcript derived from U1A snRNP, a cellular housekeeping gene, is coamplified. Copy DNA (cDNA) for these nine targets is simultaneously synthesized in a gene-specific, multiprimed cDNA reaction, which strongly reduces the amount of required clinical specimen and allows more sensitive detection than random hexamer or oligo-dT priming. For amplification, cDNA synthesis is followed by nine separate PCRs for the mentioned targets. Primers were designed either as intron-flanking, to avoid background DNA amplification, or in different exons, allowing identification of differentially spliced RNA molecules. To increase specificity, PCR products are detected by autoradiography after hybridization with radiolabeled internal oligonucleotide probes. The method described is highly suitable for profiling EBV latent RNA expression in tissue biopsies, cultured or isolated cells, and unfractionated whole blood and for definition of EBV latency type I, II, or III gene expression in these samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA

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