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1.  Epstein-Barr virus infection correlates with the expression of COX-2, p16INK4A and p53 in classic Hodgkin lymphoma 
Classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), a germinal-center related B cell neoplasm in almost all cases, is characterized by scarcity of the neoplastic Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (H/RS) cells. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been shown to affect cell cycle and regulation of apoptosis. In total, 95 cases of cHL were studied. Five-micrometer sections were prepared and stained with hematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemical streptavidin-biotin methods for EBV-LMP-1, COX-2, p53, p16, ki-67 and cleaved caspase-3. In-situ hybridization for EBV encoded RNA was used to confirm the detection of EBV in H/RS. There were 49 nodular sclerosis, 32 mixed cellularity, 8 lymphocyte-rich, and 6 lymphocyte-depleted subtypes in this series of cases. EBV, COX-2, p16INK4A and p53 were detected in 55% (52/95), 64% (61/95), 62% (59/95), and 65% (62/95) of the cases respectively. EBV was detected in 62% (38/61), 70% (41/59), and 69% (43/62) of COX2, p16 and p53 positive cases respectively. On the other hand, EBV-non-infected cases of cHL are associated with 59% (20/34), 69% (25/36), and 73% (24/33) of COX2, p16 and p53 negative cases respectively. In conclusion, EBV infection is associated with the expression of COX-2, p16INK4A and p53. EBV might be the dominant factor in determining the expression of these three proteins.
PMCID: PMC3843257  PMID: 24294363
Hodgkin lymphoma; Epstein Barr virus; COX-2; P16; P53
2.  Down-regulation of Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 in Reed-Sternberg cells of Hodgkin's disease. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1995;48(9):845-848.
AIMS--To demonstrate Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encoded nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1) gene expression in EBV associated disorders using a new monoclonal antibody (1H4-1) on routinely processed tissues. METHODS--The pressure cooker antigen retrieval method was used for the immunohistochemical demonstration of EBNA-1 gene expression in formalin fixed, EBV positive tissues from Hodgkin's disease, infectious mononucleosis, HIV associated non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, post-transplant lymphomas, and undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). EBV encoded EBNA-2, latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1) and BZLF-1 gene expression was also examined using commercially available monoclonal antibodies. RESULTS--Of the 34 EBER in situ hybridisation positive cases of Hodgkin's disease examined, none expressed EBNA-1 in the Reed-Sternberg cells. These cells were nevertheless strongly LMP-1 positive in all cases. Strong EBNA-1 staining was seen in all cases of EBER positive HIV associated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (five of five), nasopharyngeal carcinoma (five of five), infectious mononucleosis (three of three), and post-transplant lymphoma (one of one). These cases also expressed LMP-1, EBNA-2 and BZLF-1, but at differing levels. CONCLUSION--The pressure cooker antigen retrieval procedure is a sensitive and reliable adjunct to immunohistochemistry, especially with antibodies which are otherwise ineffective on routinely processed tissues. The EBNA-1 gene is not expressed at detectable levels in the malignant cells of Hodgkin's disease, but is consistently expressed in other EBV associated disorders. This finding has important implications for the role of EBNA-1 in the biology of EBV.
PMCID: PMC502874  PMID: 7490319
3.  Deletions in the Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein-1 oncogene in Hodgkin's disease 
Clinical Molecular Pathology  1995;48(4):M184-M187.
Aims—To analyse the latent membrane protein-1 (LMP-1) gene in a series of patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) positive LMP expressing ordinary and HIV associated Hodgkin's disease to detect possible genetic alterations and particularly the existence of deletions near the 3′ end of the gene.
Methods—Expression of the EBV LMP-1 was assessed using immunohistochemistry in 186 cases of Hodgkin's disease and 31 cases of HIV associated Hodgkin's disease. Genomic DNA was extracted from frozen lymph node biopsy specimens from 25 cases of Hodgkin's disease and 11 of HIV associated Hodgkin's disease, all of whom expressed the LMP-1 protein within diagnostic Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells, and amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers specific for the different LMP-1 regions.
Results—LMP-1 expression was observed in 106 of 186 Hodgkin's disease cases and in all 31 HIV associated Hodgkin's disease cases. Molecular analysis of the LMP-1 gene showed a high degree of genetic heterogeneity in the carboxy-terminal domain compared with the prototype B95-8 EBV strain, specially in the patients with HIV associated Hodgkin's disease. Variation in the size of the repeated region was found in 17 of 25 Hodgkin's disease and nine of 11 HIV associated Hodgkin's disease cases. Deletions of 30 base pairs near the 3′ end of the gene were detected in all cases of HIV associated Hodgkin's disease and in six Hodgkin's disease. In one case of Hodgkin's disease a larger deletion was observed. In all patients with LMP-1 deletion mutants, 50-90% of the diagnostic HRS cells expressed the LMP-1 protein.
Conclusions—The presence of the 30 base pair deletion in all cases of HIV associated Hodgkin's disease supports previous studies that reported aggressive histological and clinical behaviour in tumours harbouring this deletion. This deletion may prolong the half-life of the protein which would explain the high levels of LMP-1 expressing HRS cells in those cases carrying LMP-1 deletions. That the 30 base pair deletion was present in all of the HIV associated Hodgkin's disease specimens suggests that impairment of immune function is a stringent requirement for the expansion of malignant cells infected by EBV strains containing the deleted LMP-1 gene.
PMCID: PMC407958  PMID: 16696002
Epstein-Barr virus; latent membrane protein-1; Hodgkin's disease; HIV
4.  Expression of the matrix metalloproteinase 9 in Hodgkin's disease is independent of EBV status 
Molecular Pathology  2000;53(3):145-149.
Background—In vitro the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encoded latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1) has been shown to upregulate expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), a member of a family of zinc dependent endopeptidases that is believed to facilitate tumour invasion and metastasis by degradation of the extracellular matrix.
Aim—To test whether the expression of MMP-9 in Hodgkin's disease correlates with EBV status and survival and to investigate whether LMP-1 expression affects MMP-9 concentrations in the Hodgkin's disease cell line, L428.
Methods—MMP-9 expression was measured by means of immunohistochemistry in a series of Hodgkin's disease tumours and this expression was correlated with EBV status and survival. The influence of LMP-1 on MMP-9 expression was also investigated in the Hodgkin's disease cell line, L428.
Results—MMP-9 expression was demonstrated in the malignant Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells of all (n = 86) formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded Hodgkin's disease tumours examined. Although the intensity of MMP-9 immunostaining varied between cases, there was no correlation between MMP-9 expression and EBV status or survival. MMP-9 expression was also detected in a variety of non-malignant cells, including fibroblasts. MMP-9 was detected by zymography in the L428 and KMH2 Hodgkin's disease cell lines, whereas low or undetectable amounts of MMP-9 were found in the L591 Hodgkin's disease cell line. Induction of LMP-1 expression in the Hodgkin's disease cell line L428 did not result in a detectable increase in the values of MMP-9 as measured by zymography.
Conclusions—These results demonstrate that MMP-9 is consistently expressed by the Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells of Hodgkin's disease tumours and by the Hodgkin's disease cell lines, L428 and KMH2. However, this expression does not appear to be related either to LMP-1 values or to survival.
PMCID: PMC1186921  PMID: 10897334
matrix metalloproteinase 9; Hodgkin's disease; Epstein-Barr virus; latent membrane protein 1
5.  Encoded latent membrane protein 1 of Epstein-Barr virus on follicular dendritic cells in residual germinal centres in Hodgkin's disease. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1994;47(1):29-32.
AIMS--To determine if there is an association between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and Hodgkin's disease. METHODS--Fifty cases of Hodgkin's disease and 25 reactive lymph nodes were screened for the presence of EBV-RNA (EBER) using in situ hybridisation, and for the expression of EBV encoded latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1) by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS--In 42% of the cases of Hodgkin's disease, EBER was detected in the nuclei of the malignant cells, and in LMP-1 expression was found 36%. Both EBER and LMP-1 positivity were seen in 34% of the cases. An additional finding was the presence of LMP-1 on follicular dendritic cells in residual germinal centres in two cases of Hodgkin's disease. EBER was not detected in these germinal centres. In reactive lymph nodes only occasional EBER positive, small, lymphoid cells were found, without LMP-1 expression. CONCLUSIONS--These results show a strong correlation between the presence of EBER and the LMP-1 expression in the Reed-Sternberg cells. They corroborate a role for EBV in at least some cases of Hodgkin's disease. LMP-1 is probably presented as an immune complex in the germinal centres, as part of an immune response against EBV.
PMCID: PMC501752  PMID: 8132805
6.  Epstein-Barr virus infection is inversely correlated with the expression of retinoblastoma protein in Reed-Sternberg cells in classic Hodgkin lymphoma 
Classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) is characterized by few neoplastic Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (H/RS) cells in a background of intense inflammatory infiltrate. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been shown to affect cell cycle and regulation of apoptosis. In total, 82 cases of cHL were studied. Five- micrometer sections were prepared and stained with haematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemical streptavidin-biotin methods for EBV-LMP-1, pRb, ki-67 and cleaved caspase-3. In-situ hybridization for EBV encoded RNA was used to confirm the detection of EBV in H/RS cells. There were 45 nodular sclerosis, 28 mixed cellularity, 4 lymphocyte-rich, and 5 lymphocyte depletion subtypes in this series of cases. EBV and pRb were detected in 55% (46/82) and 64% (50/82) of the cases respectively. EBV was detected in 78% (25/32) of pRb-negative cases and 81% (29/36) of EBV-negative cases are pRb-positive. A statistically significant inverse relationship was observed between the presence of EBV and expression of pRb (P = 0.001). In conclusion, EBV infection is inversely correlated with pRb in H/RS cells in cHL.
PMCID: PMC4270594  PMID: 25550786
Hodgkin lymphoma; Epstein Barr virus; pRb
7.  Lack of correlation between expression of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein and bcl-2 oncoprotein in vivo. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1994;47(7):589-591.
AIMS--To evaluate whether there is any correlation between the expression of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein (LMP) and oncoprotein bcl-2 in the lymph node biopsy specimens of a Chinese patient with EBV-related reactive lymphoproliferation who later developed T cell lymphoma after a short period of time. METHODS--Immunohistochemistry, with a standard alkaline phosphatase antialkaline phosphatase (APAAP) method and New Fuchsin as a chromogen, was used for single staining of bcl-2 or LMP. Double immunostaining combining APAAP and indirect immunofluorescence was performed for dual labelling of LMP and bcl-2. RESULTS--bcl-2 was expressed in 10-30% of cells in the first lymph node biopsy specimen (EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disorder) and 30-50% of cells in the second lymph node biopsy specimen (T cell lymphoma). LMP was expressed in the first biopsy specimen but not in the second. Double immunostaining results showed that around 78% of LMP positive cells were bcl-2 negative and 94% bcl-2 positive cells were LMP negative. Among the very small fraction of LMP and bcl-2 double positive cells, the intensity of bcl-2 staining was heterogeneous and was not always stronger than that observed in LMP negative bcl-2 positive cells. CONCLUSIONS--The expression of bcl-2 protein is independent of LMP protein status in vivo. Several mechanisms may be involved in EBV associated lymphomagenesis, and bcl-2 induction may occur independently of LMP expression.
PMCID: PMC502067  PMID: 8089211
8.  Bob-1 is expressed in classic Hodgkin lymphoma 
Diagnostic Pathology  2007;2:10.
Almost all researchers agree on the lack of Bob-1 expression in Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (H/RS) cells in classic Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL), and utilize this marker as a diagnostic tool in conjunction with other markers to differentiate between lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin lymphoma (LPHL) and CHL.
To study the immunohistochemical (IHC) expression of Bob-1 in Egyptian CHL and to correlate this expression with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) viral load.
Materials and methods
Paraffin sections of randomly selected 18 CHL cases were included: 2 lymphocyte rich (LR), 4 mixed cellularity (MC), 10 nodular sclerosis (NS) and 2 lymphocyte depletion (LD). All cases were immunostained for Bob-1. EBV was evaluated by EBV early RNA transcripts in situ hybridization (EBER ISH) and immunostaining for EBV latent membrane protein-1 (LMP-1).
Sixty seven percent of cases (12/18) were positive for EBV by ISH and/or immunostaining for LMP-1. Moderate to strong nuclear Bob-1 was observed in 94% of cases. The positivity ranged between 25–100%. Bob-1 immunoreactivity was strongly associated with EBV positivity (p < 0.001).
This study proves nuclear IHC expression of Bob-1 on H/RS in CHL implying the difficulties in applying this marker to differentiate between LPHL and CHL. Does this difference between Western and Egyptian CHL reflect genetic and/or environmental factors, or simply no difference exists as most researchers are concentrated on the Western population and no comparative studies have been done. Studies from other countries might answer this question.
PMCID: PMC1831464  PMID: 17346351
9.  Assessment of the prognostic impact of the Epstein–Barr virus-encoded latent membrane protein-1 expression in Hodgkin's disease 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;84(9):1227-1234.
We have examined expression of the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein-1 (LMP1) in the malignant Hodgkin and Reed–Sternberg (HRS) cells of Hodgkin's disease (HD) and its impact on response to treatment and on survival. Paraffin tissue from 100 adult immunocompetent patients with HD were analysed using immunohistochemistry to identify LMP1 expression. According to the Rye classification, 8% of patients had lymphocyte predominance (LP) subtype, 48% had nodular sclerosis (NS) disease, 37% were of the mixed cellularity (MC) subtype and 7% were of the lymphocyte depletion (LD) subtype. During the five year follow-up period 27 patients died and 74 patients achieved a complete remission. Patients with LD subtype were older (P = 0.03), less frequently achieved complete remission (P = 0.01), had shorter disease-free survival (P = 0.01) and overall survival (P = 0.002) compared with the other subtypes of HD. LMP1 expression was found in the tumour cells of 26% of cases of HD. LMP1 expression was less common in NS disease than in the other subtypes (P = 0.05), whereas an association between MC subtype and LMP1 expression was not found (P = 0.22). Using the log-rank test there were no differences in overall survival or disease-free survival based on EBV status either when all patients were analysed or when LD and LP subtypes were excluded. However, the presence of EBV was associated with significantly longer disease-free survival in the subgroup of patients ≤ 30 years old (P = 0.02) and in those patients ≤ 34 years old (P = 0.05). In contrast, there was a trend for shorter disease-free survival for EBV-positive patients in the subgroup > 35 years old, but this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.11). A similar trend was observed in patients > 50 years old. Analysis of the impact of LMP1 expression in patients who had different stage and B symptoms status showed that expression of EBV was associated with longer disease-free survival (P = 0.019) in early stage (1 + 2) patients without B symptoms. Significant differences in the other subgroups based on EBV status was not found. Factors adversely affecting the likelihood to achieve a complete remission were: absence of LMP1 expression (OR 6.4, 95% Cl 1.07–38.5, P = 0.04), age (OR 1.68, 95%Cl 1.15–2.5, P = 0.007) and subtype of HD (OR 3.32, 95%Cl 1.11–9.94, P = 0.03). Age and subtype of HD had an independent impact on overall survival (P = 0.01). We conclude that expression of LMP1 in HRS cells has a favourable impact on prognosis for HD patients, but that this effect may be restricted to young adult patients and those with early stage disease. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363896  PMID: 11336475
10.  Difference in cytokine production and cell cycle progression induced by Epstein-Barr virus Lmp1 deletion variants in Kmh2, a Hodgkin lymphoma cell line 
Virology Journal  2014;11:94.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with 20-40% of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL) cases. EBV-encoded latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is a well-known oncogenic protein and two C-terminal deletion variants, del30-LMP1 and del69-LMP1, have been described in animal models to be more tumorigenic than the wild-type form. This work aims to detail the implication of LMP1 in the development of HL and to characterize the particular effects of these variants.
We established HL-derived cell lines stably transfected with the pRT-LMP1 vector coding for the EBNA1 gene and allowing expression of the different LMP1 variants under the control of a doxycyclin-inducible promoter. Communication between cells was assessed by measuring the expression of various pro-inflammatory cytokines by flow cytometry after intracellular LMP1 and cytokine double staining. Proliferative properties of LMP1 variants were also compared by studying the repartition of cells in the different phases of the cell cycle after EdU incorporation combined to LMP1 and DAPI staining.
All LMP1 proteins induced the expression of several pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, TNF-β, IL-6, RANTES/CCL5 and IFN-γ. However, the del30-LMP1 variant induced cytokine expression at a lower level than the other variants, especially IFN-γ, while the del69-LMP1 variant stimulated greater cytokine expression. In addition, we measured that all LMP1 proteins greatly impacted the cell cycle progression, triggering a reduction in the number of cells in S-phase and an accumulation of cells in the G2/M phase compared to the HL-non induced cells. Interestingly, the del30-LMP1 variant reduced the number of cells in S-phase in a significantly greater manner and also increased the number of cells in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle.
Weak IFN-γ expression and specific alteration of the cell cycle might be a way for del30-LMP1 infected cells to escape the immune anti-viral response and to promote the development of cancer. The differences observed between the LMP1 variants reflect their own oncogenic properties and eventually impact the development of HL.
PMCID: PMC4035821  PMID: 24886620
EBV; LMP1; Variant; Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; Cytokine; Cell cycle
11.  Epstein-Barr virus and Hodgkin's disease: transcriptional analysis of virus latency in the malignant cells 
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with a number of different human tumors and appears to play different pathogenetic roles in each case. Thus, immunoblastic B cell lymphomas of the immunosuppressed display the full pattern of EBV latent gene expression (expressing Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen [EBNA]1, 2, 3A, 3B, 3C, and -LP, and latent membrane protein [LMP]1, 2A, and 2B), just as do B lymphoblastoid cell lines transformed by the virus in vitro. In contrast, those EBV-associated tumors with a more complex, multistep pathogenesis show more restricted patterns of viral gene expression, limited in Burkitt's lymphoma to EBNA1 only and in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) to EBNA1 and LMP1, 2A, and 2B. Recent evidence has implicated EBV in the pathogenesis of another lymphoid tumor, Hodgkin's disease (HD), where the malignant Hodgkin's and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells are EBV genome positive in up to 50% of cases. Here we extend preliminary results on viral gene expression in HRS cells by adopting polymerase chain reaction-based and in situ hybridization assays capable of detecting specific EBV latent transcripts diagnostic of the different possible forms of EBV latency. We show that the transcriptional program of the virus in HRS cells is similar to that seen in NPC in several respects: (a) selective expression of EBNA1 mRNA from the BamHI F promoter; (b) downregulation of the BamHI C and W promoters and their associated EBNA mRNAs; (c) expression of LMP1 and, in most cases, LMP2A and 2B transcripts; and (d) expression of the "rightward-running" BamHI A transcripts once thought to be unique to NPC. This form of latency, consistently detected in EBV-positive HD irrespective of histological subtype, implies an active role for the virus in the pathogenesis of HD and also suggests that the tumor may remain sensitive to at least certain facets of the EBV-induced cytotoxic T cell response.
PMCID: PMC2190903  PMID: 8381153
12.  Epstein–Barr virus and Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Cairo, Egypt 
Journal of Hematopathology  2010;3(1):11-18.
Fifty-five consecutive cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL), collected between 1996 and 1998 from Cairo, Egypt, were histologically subtyped, phenotyped, and then studied for the presence of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV). We used immunohistochemical stains for EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1) and in situ hybridization stains for EBV-encoded small RNA (EBER-1) transcripts. Forty-five cases (82%) had classic HL (cHL), and ten cases (18%) had nodular lymphocyte predominant HL (NLPHL), with each group expressing its typical phenotype. LMP-1 stains were positive in 63% and 0% of cHL and NLPHL cases, respectively. EBER-positive Reed–Sternberg cells and variants were also present in 62% and 0% of each group, respectively. The cHL cases showed variable EBER positivity: nodular sclerosis, 58%; mixed cellularity, 100%; lymphocyte depletion, 100%; and unclassifiable, 67%. Our findings are similar to those from other developing countries and point towards a pathogenic role of EBV in cHL.
PMCID: PMC2883908  PMID: 21625283
Classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma; Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma; Epstein–Barr virus; EBER-1; LMP-1
13.  Expression of c-myc and bcl-2 oncogene products in Reed-Sternberg cells independent of presence of Epstein-Barr virus. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1993;46(3):211-217.
AIMS: To evaluate the expression of c-myc and bcl-2 oncogene products in Reed-Sternberg cells in Hodgkin's disease, especially in relation to Epstein-Barr virus infection and expression of EBV encoded latent membrane protein (LMP). METHODS: Tissues from 33 cases of Hodgkin's disease were studied for the presence of EBV DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA in situ hybridisation (DISH), for the presence of EBER-1 and EBER-2 EBV RNA by RNA in situ hybridisation (RISH); and for the presence of LMP, bcl-2, and c-myc proteins by immunohistochemical staining. RESULTS: A substantial number of Reed-Sternberg cells expressed bcl-2 in 20 of 29 (69%) and c-myc in 30 of 32 (94%) Hodgkin's disease samples. In 18 of the 25 (72%) cases Reed-Sternberg cells expressed both oncogene products. Of these 18 cases, 10 (56%) were EBV-PCR positive; eight (44%) were EBV-PCR negative. CONCLUSIONS: Reed-Sternberg cells in Hodgkin's disease frequently express both bcl-2 and c-myc oncogene products, suggesting that these oncogenes may act in concert in the pathogenesis of the disease. Moreover, the expression of c-myc and bcl-2 proteins in Reed-Sternberg cells is independent of EBV and LMP status.
PMCID: PMC501172  PMID: 8385158
14.  Generating CTLs against the subdominant EBV LMP antigens by transit expression of an A20 inhibitor with EBV LMP proteins in human DCs 
Gene therapy  2011;19(8):818-827.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection leads to Hodgkin’s disease (HD) in some immunocompetent hosts. The malignant Reed-Sternberg cells of HD only express a limited array of subdominant EBV antigens to evade preexisting immune responses to EBV. The EBV-encoded latent membrane proteins (LMP1 and LMP2), which are expressed by HD and various EBV-associated malignancies, have been proposed as a potential target for CTL-based therapy. However, the precursor frequency for LMP-specific CTL is generally low in healthy EBV-infected hosts, and immunotherapy based on these antigens is often compromised by the poor immunogenicity and the oncogenic potential. In the present study, we report that transitively expressing an inhibitor of A20, a key negative regulator of inflammatory signaling pathways, together with the LMP antigens (truncated LMP1 and full-length LMP2) greatly enhances maturation and cytokine production of human (h) monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs). As a consequence, LMP1/2-expressed, A20-silenced hDCs have an enhanced potency to prime LMP-specific T cell response. When the in vitro primed T cells are adoptively transferred into tumor-xenografted, severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice, some of the xenografted tumors approach complete regression. Thus, the study may provide an available resource of LMP-specific T cells for T cell immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3288357  PMID: 22052242
A20; dendritic cells; cytotoxic T lymphocyte; Epstein-Barr virus; latent membrane proteins
15.  Presence of Epstein-Barr virus latency type III at the single cell level in post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders and AIDS related lymphomas. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1997;50(11):911-918.
AIMS: To investigate the expression pattern of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent genes at the single cell level in post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders and acquired immunodefiency syndrome (AIDS) related lymphomas, in relation to cellular morphology. METHODS: Nine post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders and three AIDS related lymphomas were subjected to immunohistochemistry using monoclonal antibodies specific for EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) (2H4), EBNA2 (PE2 and the new rat anti-EBNA2 monoclonal antibodies 1E6, R3, and 3E9), and LMP1 (CS1-4 and S12). Double staining was performed combining R3 or 3E9 with S12. RESULTS: R3 and 3E9 anti-EBNA2 monoclonal antibodies were more sensitive than PE2, enabling the detection of more EBNA2 positive lymphoma cells. Both in post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders and AIDS related lymphomas, different expression patterns were detected at the single cell level. Smaller neoplastic cells were positive for EBNA2 but negative for LMP1. Larger and more blastic neoplastic cells, sometimes resembling Reed-Sternberg cells, were LMP1 positive but EBNA2 negative (EBV latency type II). Morphologically intermediate neoplastic cells coexpressing EBNA2 and LMP1 (EBV latency type III), were detected using R3 and 3E9, and formed a considerable part of the neoplastic population in four of nine post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders and two of three AIDS related lymphomas. All samples contained a subpopulation of small tumour cells positive exclusively for Epstein-Barr early RNA and EBNA1. The relation between cellular morphology and EBV expression patterns in this study was less pronounced in AIDS related lymphomas than in post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders, because the AIDS related lymphomas were less polymorphic than the post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders. CONCLUSIONS: In post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders and AIDS related lymphomas, EBV latency type III can be detected by immunohistochemistry in a subpopulation of tumour cells using sensitive monoclonal antibodies R3 and 3E9. Our data suggest that EBV infected tumour cells in these lymphomas undergo gradual changes in the expression of EBV latent genes, and that these changes are associated with changes in cellular morphology.
PMCID: PMC500314  PMID: 9462239
16.  Evaluation of LMP1 of Epstein-Barr virus as a therapeutic target by its inhibition 
Molecular Cancer  2010;9:184.
The latent membrane protein-1 (LMP1) encoded by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an oncoprotein which acts by constitutive activation of various signalling pathways, including NF-κB. In so doing it leads to deregulated cell growth intrinsic to the cancer cell as well as having extrinsic affects upon the tumour microenvironment. These properties and that it is a foreign antigen, lead to the proposition that LMP1 may be a good therapeutic target in the treatment of EBV associated disease. LMP1 is expressed in several EBV-associated malignancies, notably in Hodgkin's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). However, the viral protein is only detected in approximately 30%-50% of NPC samples, as such its role in carcinogenesis and tumour maintenance can be questioned and thus its relevance as a therapeutic target.
In order to explore if LMP1 has a continuous function in established tumours, its activity was inhibited through expression of a dominant negative LMP1 mutant in tumour cell lines derived from transgenic mice. LMP1 is the tumour predisposing oncogene in two different series of transgenic mice which separately give rise to either B-cell lymphomas or carcinomas. Inhibition of LMP1 activity in the carcinoma cell lines lead to a reduction in clonagenicity and clone viability in all of the cell lines tested, even those with low or below detection levels of LMP1. Inhibition of LMP1 activity in the transgenic B-cell lines was incompatible with growth and survival of the cells and no clones expressing the dominant negative LMP1 mutant could be established.
LMP1 continues to provide a tumour cell growth function in cell lines established from LMP1 transgenic mouse tumours, of both B-cell and epithelial cell origin. LMP1 can perform this function, even when expressed at such low levels as to be undetectable, whereby evidence of its expression can only be inferred by its inhibition being detrimental to the growth of the cell. This raises the possibility that LMP1 still performs a pro-oncogenic function in the 50% to 70% of NPC tumours wherein LMP1 protein expression cannot be detected. This reinforces the basis for pursuing LMP1 as a therapeutic target in EBV associated LMP1-expressing malignancies.
PMCID: PMC2913984  PMID: 20618963
17.  A Positive Autoregulatory Loop of LMP1 Expression and STAT Activation in Epithelial Cells Latently Infected with Epstein-Barr Virus 
Journal of Virology  2003;77(7):4139-4148.
STAT3 and STAT5 are constitutively activated and nuclear in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells. In normal signaling, STATs are only transiently activated. To investigate whether Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and in particular the protein LMP1, contributes to sustained STAT phosphorylation and activation in epithelial cells, we examined STAT activity in two sets of paired cell lines, HeLa, an EBV-converted HeLa cell line, HeLa-Bx1, the NPC-derived cell line CNE2-LNSX, and an LMP1-expressing derivative, CNE2-LMP1. EBV infection was associated with a significant increase in the tyrosine-phosphorylated forms of STAT3 and STAT5 in HeLa-Bx1 cells. This effect correlated with LMP1 expression, since phosphorylated STAT3 and STAT5 levels were also increased in CNE2-LMP1 cells relative to the control CNE2-LNSX cells. No change was observed in STAT1 or STAT6 phosphorylation in these cell lines, nor was there a significant change in the levels of total STAT3, STAT5, STAT1, or STAT6 protein. Tyrosine phosphorylation allows the normally cytoplasmic STAT proteins to enter the nucleus and bind to their recognition sequences in responsive promoters. The ability of LMP1 to activate STAT3 was further established by immunofluorescence assays in which coexpression of LMP1 in transfected cells was sufficient to mediate nuclear relocalization of Flag-STAT3 and by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay which showed that LMP1 expression in CNE2-LNSX cells was associated with increased endogenous STAT3 DNA binding activity. In addition, the activity of a downstream target of STAT3, c-Myc, was upregulated in HeLa-Bx1 and CNE2-LMP1 cells. A linkage was established between interleukin-6 (IL-6)- and LMP1-mediated STAT3 activation. Treatment with IL-6 increased phosphorylated STAT3 levels in CNE2-LNSX cells, and conversely, treatment of CNE2-LMP1 cells with IL-6 neutralizing antibody ablated STAT3 activation and c-Myc upregulation. The previous observation that STAT3 activated the LMP1 terminal repeat promoter in reporter assays was extended to show upregulated expression of endogenous LMP1 mRNA and protein in HeLa-Bx1 cells transfected with a constitutively activated STAT3. A model is proposed in which EBV infection of an epithelial cell containing activated STATs would permit LMP1 expression. This in turn would establish a positive feedback loop of IL-6-induced STAT activation, LMP1 and Qp-EBNA1 expression, and viral genome persistence.
PMCID: PMC150666  PMID: 12634372
18.  A Case of Age-Related Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV)-Associated B Cell Lymphoproliferative Disorder, so-called Polymorphous Subtype, of the Mandible, with a Review of the Literature 
Head and Neck Pathology  2012;7(2):178-187.
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is known to be associated with the development of lymphomas in immunocompromised patients. Recently, age-related immune impairment has been recognized as a predisposing factor in the development of EBV-driven lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs) in elderly patients without any known immunodeficiency or prior lymphoma. In approximately 70 % of reported cases, the affected sites have been extranodal, such as the skin, lung, tonsil and stomach. However, age-related EBV-associated B cell (EBV + B cell) LPD is extremely rare in the oral cavity. Here we report a 71-year-old Japanese man who developed an EBV + B cell LPD resembling classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL)—so-called polymorphous subtype—of the mandible. Histopathologically, infiltration of large atypical lymphoid cells including Hodgkin or Reed-Sternberg-like cells into granulation tissue with marked necrosis was found in the mandibular bone. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the large atypical Hodgkin or Reed-Sternberg-like cells were CD3–, CD15–, CD20+, CD30+ and Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-latent infection membrane protein-1 (LMP-1)+. In situ hybridization (ISH) demonstrated EBV-encoded small RNA (EBER) + in numerous Hodgkin or Reed-Sternberg-like cells. EBNA-2 was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using an extract from the formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimen. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of the polymorphous subtype of age-related EBV + B cell LPD affecting the mandible.
PMCID: PMC3642255  PMID: 22869357
Age-related Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-associated B cell lymphoproliferative disorder (age-related EBV + B cell LPD); Epstein–Barr virus (EBV); Polymorphous subtype; Mandible
19.  Epstein-Barr virus in hepatocellular carcinogenesis 
AIM: In recent years, studies have suggested that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with HCC. The present study was to determine the prevalence of EBV in HCC patients, and whether EBV acted synergistically with hepatitis viruses in HCC carcinogenesis.
METHODS: Liver tissue 115 HCC patients and 26 non-carcinoma patients were studied. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to detect EBV BamHI W DNA, EBV LMP1 DNA, HBV X DNA, and HBV S DNA. Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) was performed to detect HCV RNA and HDV RNA. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect LMP1, HBsAg, HBcAg and HCV. The positive ratios were compared between HCC group and control group by χ 2 test.
RESULTS: Totally, 78 HCC samples whose β -globulin DNA was positively detected by amplified PCR were selected. PCR was performed in all cases for EBV DNA and HBV DNA. RT-PCR was performed in 18 cases for HCV RNA and HDV RNA. EBV BamHI W and EBV LMP1 were positive in 18 and 6 cases, respectively. HBV X gene and HBV S gene were positive in 42 and 27 cases respectively. HCV was positive in one of the 18 cases, and none was positive for HDV. The positive rates were 28.2% (22 of 78) for EBV DNA (BamHI W and/or LMP1) and 56.4% (44 of 78) for HBV DNA (X gene and/or S gene) respectively. In addition, 12 cases were positive for both EBV DNA and HBV DNA. Among the 26 cases in the control group, 2 cases were positive for EBV BamHI W, 4 positive for HBV X gene and 3 positive for HBV S gene. The positive rates were 8.0% (2 of 26) and 23.1% (6 of 26), respectively, for EBV DNA and HBV DNA. The result of DNA sequencing of BamHI W was 100% homologous with the corresponding sequence of B95-8. There was significant difference in EBV infection rate between HCC patients and controls (χ 2 = 4.622, P < 0.05). The difference in HBV infection rate was also significant (χ 2 = 8.681, P < 0.05). However, there was no obvious correlation between HBV and EBV in HCC patients (χ 2 = 0.835, P > 0.05). LMP1, HBV (HBsAg, HBcAg) and HCV were detected positively in 25, 45 and 6 of 78 cases of HCC tissues respectively. In the 26 control cases, the corresponding positive cases were 2, 4 and 0. The difference in EBV infection rate between HCC patients and control cases was statistically significant (χ 2 = 6.02, P < 0.05). The difference in HBV infection rate was also statistically significant (χ 2 = 10.03, P < 0.05). In the 25 cases with positive LMP1 expression, 6 were in the nuclei of tumor cells, 9 in the cytoplasm of tumor cells and 10 in mesenchymal lymphocyte cytoplasm.
CONCLUSION: The existence of EBV infection in HCC tissues suggests that EBV may be involved in the hepatocellular carcinogenesis in China. HBV infection may be a major cause of HCC. There is no correlation between EBV and HBV in the development of HCC. The prevalence of HCV infection is low in our area, and HDV appears not to play a direct role in hepatocellular carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4576219  PMID: 15526357
20.  Augmented Latent Membrane Protein 1 Expression from Epstein-Barr Virus Episomes with Minimal Terminal Repeats▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;84(5):2236-2244.
The major oncogene of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), can be expressed from either of two promoters, ED-L1 or L1-TR, producing mRNAs of 2.8 kb or 3.5 kb, respectively. L1-TR, active in nasopharyngeal carcinoma and Hodgkin's lymphoma, is located within the first of a highly variable reiteration of terminal repeat (TR) sequences that are joined by random recombination upon circularization of the linear genome at entry into cells. To determine whether the resultant TR number affects LMP1 promoter activity, we isolated single-cell clones bearing episomes of distinct TR numbers (6TR to 12TR) from epithelial cells newly infected with EBV. LMP1 mRNA levels correlated directly with the quantity of LMP1 protein expressed but varied inversely to TR number. Unexpectedly, the 3.5-kb transcript predominated only at lower TR reiterations. Diminished L1-TR activity in the context of a higher TR count was confirmed with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter construct driven by L1-TR. Various levels of LMP1, expressed from virus isogenic in all but TR number, produced divergent morphological and growth phenotypes in each cell clone. Abundant LMP1 in 6TR cells yielded a relatively cytostatic state compared to the proliferative one produced by intermediate and smaller amounts in 8TR and 12TR clones. These findings suggest that the diversification of TR number, inherent in a round of EBV reactivation and reinfection, may itself be a component of the oncogenic process. The replicative burst preceding onset of many EBV-linked cancers may increase the likelihood that LMP1 levels compatible with clonal outgrowth are achieved in a subset of infected cells.
PMCID: PMC2820940  PMID: 20015988
21.  Epstein-Barr virus encoded latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) and TNF receptor associated factors (TRAF): colocalisation of LMP1 and TRAF1 in primary EBV infection and in EBV associated Hodgkin lymphoma 
Molecular Pathology  2003;56(3):156-161.
Aims: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) immortalises B cells in vitro and is associated with several malignancies. Most phenotypic effects of EBV are mediated by latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), which interacts with tumour necrosis factor receptor associated factors (TRAFs) to activate NF-κB. This study examines TRAF1 and LMP1 expression in EBV associated lymphoproliferations.
Methods: TRAF1 expression was investigated in 26 Hodgkin lymphomas (HL; 18 EBV+, eight EBV−), seven EBV+ Burkitt lymphomas (BL), two infectious mononucleosis (IM) tonsils, and lymphoreticular tissue from eight chronic virus carriers. Seven anaplastic large cell lymphomas and 10 follicular B cell lymphomas were also studied. Colocalisation of TRAF1 and LMP1 was studied by immunofluorescent double labelling and confocal laser microscopy.
Results: TRAF1 colocalises with LMP1 in EBV infected cells in IM. EBV positive lymphocytes from chronic virus carriers were negative for TRAF1 and LMP1. In HL biopsies, TRAF1 was strongly expressed independently of EBV status, whereas all BL cases were TRAF1−. In EBV+ HL cases, TRAF1 colocalised with LMP1. Eight of 10 follicular lymphomas expressed TRAF1 in centroblast-like cells. Four of seven anaplastic large cell lymphomas weakly expressed TRAF1.
Conclusions: These results suggest that in non-neoplastic lymphocytes, TRAF1 expression is dependent on the presence of LMP1, and that in IM B cells in vivo, LMP1 associated signalling pathways are active. In HL, TRAF1 is expressed independently of EBV status, probably because of constitutive NF-κB activation. The function of TRAF1 in HL remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC1187311  PMID: 12782762
Epstein-Barr virus; tumour necrosis factor receptor associated factor 1; latent membrane protein 1; infectious mononucleosis; Hodgkin lymphoma; Burkitt lymphoma
22.  Latent Membrane Protein 2B Regulates Susceptibility to Induction of Lytic Epstein-Barr Virus Infection▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;82(4):1739-1747.
The B-lymphotropic Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encodes two isoforms of latent membrane protein 2 (LMP2), LMP2A and LMP2B, which are expressed during latency in B cells. The function of LMP2B is largely unknown, whereas LMP2A blocks B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling transduction and induction of lytic EBV infection, thereby promoting B-cell survival. Transfection experiments on LMP2B in EBV-negative B cells and the silencing of LMP2B in EBV-harboring Burkitt's lymphoma-derived Akata cells suggest that LMP2B interferes with the function of LMP2A, but the role of LMP2B in the presence of functional EBV has not been established. Here, LMP2B, LMP2A, or both were overexpressed in EBV-harboring Akata cells to study the function of LMP2B. The overexpression of LMP2B increased the magnitude of EBV switching from its latent to its lytic form upon BCR cross-linking, as indicated by a more-enhanced upregulation and expression of EBV lytic genes and significantly increased production of transforming EBV compared to Akata vector control cells or LMP2A-overexpressing cells. Moreover, LMP2B lowered the degree of BCR cross-linking required to induce lytic EBV infection. Finally, LMP2B colocalized with LMP2A as demonstrated by immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence and restored calcium mobilization upon BCR cross-linking, a signaling process inhibited by LMP2A. Thus, our findings suggest that LMP2B negatively regulates the function of LMP2A in preventing the switch from latent to lytic EBV replication.
PMCID: PMC2258708  PMID: 18057232
23.  Prognostic Significance of EBV Latent Membrane Protein 1 Expression in Lymphomas: Evidence from 15 Studies 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60313.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection has been associated with lymphoma development. EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is essential for EBV-mediated transformation and progression of different human cells, including lymphocytes. This meta-analysis investigated LMP1 expression with prognosis of patients with lymphoma.
The electronic databases of PubMed, Embase, and Chinese Biomedicine Databases were searched. There were 15 published studies available for a random effects model analysis. Quality assessment was performed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale for cohort studies. A funnel plot was used to investigate publication bias, and sources of heterogeneity were identified by meta-regression analysis. The combined hazard ratios (HR) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals of LMP1 expression were calculated by comparison to the overall survival.
Overall, there was no statistical significance found between LMP1 expression and survival of lymphoma patients (HR 1.25 [95% CI, 0.92–1.68]). In subgroup analyses, LMP1 expression was associated with survival in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) (HR  = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.02–3.34), but not with survival of patients with Hodgkin disease (HD) (HR  =  1.03, 95% CI: 0.74–1.44). In addition, significant heterogeneity was present and the meta-regression revealed that the outcome of analysis was mainly influenced by the cutoff value.
This meta-analysis demonstrated that LMP1 expression appears to be an unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival of NHL patients. The data suggested that EBV infection and LMP1 expression may be an important factor for NHL development or progression.
PMCID: PMC3629080  PMID: 23613723
24.  The Importance Of Epigenetic Alterations In The Development Of Epstein-Barr Virus-Related Lymphomas 
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a human gammaherpesvirus, is associated with a series of malignant tumors. These include lymphomas (Burkitt’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, T/NK-cell lymphoma, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, AIDS-associated lymphoma, X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome), carcinomas (nasopharyngeal carcinoma, gastric carcinoma, carcinomas of major salivary glands, thymic carcinoma, mammary carcinoma) and a sarcoma (leiomyosarcoma). The latent EBV genomes persist in the tumor cells as circular episomes, co-replicating with the cellular DNA once per cell cycle. The expression of latent EBV genes is cell type specific due to the strict epigenetic control of their promoters. DNA methylation, histone modifications and binding of key cellular regulatory proteins contribute to the regulation of alternative promoters for transcripts encoding the nuclear antigens EBNA1 to 6 and affect the activity of promoters for transcripts encoding transmembrane proteins (LMP1, LMP2A, LMP2B). In addition to genes transcribed by RNA polymerase II, there are also two RNA polymerase III transcribed genes in the EBV genome (EBER 1 and 2). The 5′ and internal regulatory sequences of EBER 1 and 2 transcription units are invariably unmethylated. The highly abundant EBER 1 and 2 RNAs are not translated to protein. Based on the cell type specific epigenetic marks associated with latent EBV genomes one can distinguish between viral epigenotypes that differ in transcriptional activity in spite of having an identical (or nearly identical) DNA sequence. Whereas latent EBV genomes are regularly targeted by epigenetic control mechanisms in different cell types, EBV encoded proteins may, in turn, affect the activity of a set of cellular promoters by interacting with the very same epigenetic regulatory machinery. There are EBNA1 binding sites in the human genome. Because high affinity binding of EBNA1 to its recognition sites is known to specify sites of DNA demethylation, we suggest that binding of EBNA1 to its cellular target sites may elicit local demethylation and contribute thereby to the activation of silent cellular promoters. EBNA2 interacts with histone acetyltransferases, and EBNALP (EBNA5) coactivates transcription by displacing histone deacetylase 4 from EBNA2-bound promoter sites. EBNA3C (EBNA6) seems to be associated both with histone acetylases and deacetylases, although in separate complexes. LMP1, a transmembrane protein involved in malignant transformation, can affect both alternative systems of epigenetic memory, DNA methylation and the Polycomb-trithorax group of protein complexes. In epithelial cells LMP1 can up-regulate DNA methyltransferases and, in Hodgkin lymphoma cells, induce the Polycomb group protein Bmi-1. In addition, LMP1 can also modulate cellular gene expression programs by affecting, via the NF-κB pathway, levels of cellular microRNAs miR-146a and miR-155. These interactions may result in epigenetic dysregulation and subsequent cellular dysfunctions that may manifest in or contribute to the development of pathological changes (e.g. initiation and progression of malignant neoplasms, autoimmune phenomena, immunodeficiency). Thus, Epstein-Barr virus, similarly to other viruses and certain bacteria, may induce pathological changes by epigenetic reprogramming of host cells. Elucidation of the epigenetic consequences of EBV-host interactions (within the framework of the emerging new field of patho-epigenetics) may have important implications for therapy and disease prevention, because epigenetic processes are reversible and continuous silencing of EBV genes contributing to patho-epigenetic changes may prevent disease development.
PMCID: PMC3033174  PMID: 21416002
25.  Epstein-Barr Virus LMP2A Reduces Hyperactivation Induced by LMP1 to Restore Normal B Cell Phenotype in Transgenic Mice 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(4):e1002662.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latently infects most of the human population and is strongly associated with lymphoproliferative disorders. EBV encodes several latency proteins affecting B cell proliferation and survival, including latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) and the EBV oncoprotein LMP1. LMP1 and LMP2A signaling mimics CD40 and BCR signaling, respectively, and has been proposed to alter B cell functions including the ability of latently-infected B cells to access and transit the germinal center. In addition, several studies suggested a role for LMP2A modulation of LMP1 signaling in cell lines by alteration of TRAFs, signaling molecules used by LMP1. In this study, we investigated whether LMP1 and LMP2A co-expression in a transgenic mouse model alters B cell maturation and the response to antigen, and whether LMP2A modulates LMP1 function. Naïve LMP1/2A mice had similar lymphocyte populations and antibody production by flow cytometry and ELISA compared to controls. In the response to antigen, LMP2A expression in LMP1/2A animals rescued the impairment in germinal center generation promoted by LMP1. LMP1/2A animals produced high-affinity, class-switched antibody and plasma cells at levels similar to controls. In vitro, LMP1 upregulated activation markers and promoted B cell hyperproliferation, and co-expression of LMP2A restored a wild-type phenotype. By RT-PCR and immunoblot, LMP1 B cells demonstrated TRAF2 levels four-fold higher than non-transgenic controls, and co-expression of LMP2A restored TRAF2 levels to wild-type levels. No difference in TRAF3 levels was detected. While modulation of other TRAF family members remains to be assessed, normalization of the LMP1-induced B cell phenotype through LMP2A modulation of TRAF2 may be a pathway by which LMP2A controls B cell function. These findings identify an advance in the understanding of how Epstein-Barr virus can access the germinal center in vivo, a site critical for both the genesis of immunological memory and of virus-associated tumors.
Author Summary
As a ubiquitous human pathogen, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is associated with several human B cell diseases characterized by inappropriate B cell activation and function, including infectious mononucleosis and certain cancers. EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) and 2A (LMP2A) hijack cell signaling pathways to alter B cell activation and function, and are detected in EBV-associated diseases. Defining the effect on B cell function when LMP1 and LMP2A are expressed together in the same cell is critical to understanding how EBV subverts normal B cell behavior before disease develops. Using transgenic mice, we have demonstrated that LMP2A dampens cellular proliferation and activation induced by LMP1, which may be due to the LMP2A-associated decrease in the levels of TRAF2, a signaling protein used by LMP1. LMP2A also allows B cells carrying LMP1 to enter the germinal center during an immune response, a site that gives rise to EBV-associated tumors in humans. In sum, this study highlights the biological outcomes of LMP1 and LMP2A co-expression in B cells and contributes to the knowledge of how EBV subverts normal B cell behavior before disease develops.
PMCID: PMC3334893  PMID: 22536156

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