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.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a human gammaherpesvirus carried by more than 90% of the world’s population, is associated with malignant tumors such as Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL), Hodgkin lymphoma, post-transplant lymphoma, extra-nodal natural killer/T cell lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal and gastric carcinomas in immune-compromised patients. In the process of infection, EBV faces challenges: the host cell environment is harsh, and the survival and apoptosis of host cells are precisely regulated. Only when host cells receive sufficient survival signals may they immortalize. To establish efficiently a lytic or long-term latent infection, EBV must escape the host cell immunologic mechanism and resist host cell apoptosis by interfering with multiple signaling pathways. This review details the apoptotic pathway disrupted by EBV in EBV-infected cells and describes the interactions of EBV gene products with host cellular factors as well as the function of these factors, which decide the fate of the host cell. The relationships between other EBV-encoded genes and proteins of the B-cell leukemia/lymphoma (Bcl) family are unknown. Still, EBV seems to contribute to establishing its own latency and the formation of tumors by modifying events that impact cell survival and proliferation as well as the immune response of the infected host. We discuss potential therapeutic drugs to provide a foundation for further studies of tumor pathogenesis aimed at exploiting novel therapeutic strategies for EBV-associated diseases.
Epstein-Barr virus; Bcl family members; Apoptosis; Drugs therapy
Persistent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection remains asymptomatic in the majority of virus carriers, despite the potent growth transforming potential of this virus. The increased frequency of EBV associated B cell lymphomas in immune compromised individuals suggests that tumor-free chronic infection with this virus is in part due to immune control. Here we discuss the evidence that loss of selective components of EBV specific immunity might contribute to EBV associated malignancies, like Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma, Burkitt’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, in otherwise immune competent patients. Furthermore, we discuss how current vaccine approaches against EBV might be able to target these selective deficiencies.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Hodgkin’s lymphoma; Burkitt’s lymphoma; T cells; malaria; HIV
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is implicated in the development of a number of human malignancies including several subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) . Lymphoproliferative disease and NHL occurring in severely immunosuppressed individuals almost all involve EBV and have been extensively studied and modeled in vitro. EBV has also been causally associated with some cases of NHL occurring in otherwise immunocompetent individuals. However, a direct role for EBV in the pathogenesis of neoplasms developing in the presence of an otherwise competent immune system has not been established. We investigated potential interactions between dithiocarbamates (DTC), an important class of thiono-sulfur compounds, and EBV leading to immortalization of human B lymphocytes and evasion of cell-mediated immune response in culture. Primary lymphocyte cultures employing wild-type and recombinant EBV mutants were used to assess the respective roles of DTC and viral genes in lymphocyte transformation and survival. Pretreatment of EBV-infected human B lymphocytes with DTC directly enhanced transformation in the absence of T cells (5 nM) and independently increased survival of transformed cells in the presence of competent autologous T cells (10 nM). Both DTC-induced transformation and immortalization of EBV-infected B lymphocytes were dependent on the expression of viral IL-10. These results provide a biological basis for studying collaborations between chemical and virus that alter lymphocyte biology, and provide a rationale for further molecular epidemiology studies to better understand the potential influence of these interactions on the development of NHL and perhaps other viral-associated malignancies.
dithiocarbamates; Epstein-Barr virus; IL-10; immune evasion; B lymphocytes
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human γ-herpes virus infecting more than 90% of the population worldwide. EBV is associated with certain malignancies (e.g. Burkitt lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma). Recent studies have raised the possibility that EBV may also be involved in the pathogenesis of breast carcinoma, the most common carcinoma of females. If substantiated, this finding would have major implications regarding prevention and therapy of the disease. The studies published so far have employed diverse methods, however, and the results have been controversial.
Using the EBV DNA PCR, EBV DNA in situ hybridisation and in situ hybridisation for the detection of the EBV-encoded RNAs, and using immunohistochemistry for the demonstration of the EBV-encoded nuclear antigen 1, we have studied a series of 59 invasive breast carcinomas for evidence of EBV infection.
EBV-encoded RNA-specific in situ hybridisation and EBV-encoded nuclear antigen 1 immunohistochemistry were negative in all cases. Using the PCR, EBV DNA was detected in four out of 59 cases. These cases were further studied by EBV DNA in situ hybridisation, showing an absence of viral DNA from the tumour cells.
These results indicate that breast carcinoma is not an EBV-associated tumour.
breast carcinoma; Epstein–Barr virus; immunohistology; in situ hybridisation
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and latency has been associated with malignant diseases including nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, and immune deficiency associated lymphoproliferative diseases. EBV-encoded latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) recruits Lyn and Syk kinases via its SH2-domain binding motifs, and modifies their signaling pathways. LMP2A transgenic mice develop hyperproliferative bone marrow B cells and immature peripheral B cells through modulation of Lyn kinase signaling. LMP2A/λ-MYC double transgenic mice develop splenomegaly and cervical lymphomas starting at 8 weeks of age. We reasoned that targeting Lyn in LMP2A-expressing B cells with dasatinib would provide a therapeutic option for EBV-associated malignancies. Here, we show that dasatinib inhibits B cell colony formation by LMP2A transgenic bone marrow cells, and reverses splenomegaly and tumor growth in both a pre-tumor and a syngeneic tumor transfer model of EBV-associated Burkitt lymphoma. Our data support the idea that dasatinib may prove to be an effective therapeutic molecule for the treatment of EBV-associated malignancies.
Burkitt lymphoma; dasatinib; Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A); Lyn; post-transplant lymphoproliferative diseases (PTLD)
Viruses have evolved elegant strategies to manipulate the host while the host counters with defense systems including the interferon response, apoptosis, and the DNA damage response (DDR). Viruses have multiple strategies for manipulating the DDR and even the same virus can activate or inhibit the DDR at different stages of infection. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a virus implicated in several human cancers including Burkitt’s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, and HIV associated lymphomas. Although multiple viral proteins have been implicated in EBV associated malignancies, the cellular pathways that control EBV-induced transformation and tumorigenesis remain incompletely understood. In this study, Nikitin et al demonstrate that early EBV infection induces a cellular DDR which restricts virus-mediated transformation. The EBV encoded EBNA3C protein subsequently attenuates this response to favor transformation and immortalization of host cells.
ATM/CHK2; B cell transformation; DNA damage response; Epstein-Barr virus; tumorigenesis
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and latency has been associated with malignancies including nasopharyngeal carcinoma and Burkitt’s lymphoma. EBV encoded latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) is expressed in most EBV-associated malignancies and as such provides a therapeutic target. Burkitt’s lymphoma is a hematopoietic cancer associated with the translocation of c-MYC to one of the immunoglobulin gene promoters leading to abnormally high expression of MYC and development of lymphoma. Our laboratory has developed a murine model of EBV-associated Burkitt’s lymphoma by crossing LMP2A transgenic mice with MYC transgenic mice. Since LMP2A has been shown to activate PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, we tested the therapeutic efficacy of mTOR inhibitor rapamycin on the tumors and splenomegaly in this double transgenic mice (Tg6/λ-MYC). We found that rapamycin reversed splenomegaly in Tg6/λ-MYC mice prior to tumor formation by targeting B cells. In a tumor transfer model, we also found that rapamycin significantly decreased tumor growth, splenomegaly, and metastasis of tumor cells into bone marrow of tumor recipients. Our data show that rapamycin may be a valuable candidate for the development of a treatment modality for EBV positive lymphomas such as Burkitt’s lymphoma, and more importantly, provides a basis to develop inhibitors that specifically target viral gene function in tumor cells that depend on LMP2A signaling for survival and/or growth.
EBV; LMP2A; Burkitt’s lymphoma; tumor; splenomegaly; rapamycin
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is known as a causative agent of Burkitt’s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and approximately 10% of stomach carcinoma cases. In other human cancers, EBV gene expression including lytic infection protein detected using in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence staining has been reported. Moreover, the expression and replication of EBV genes in cultured normal macrophages and in histiocytes of Langerhans’ cell histiocytosis have been identified. The aim of this study was to examine EBV expression in macrophages in other EBV-associated human tumors. Forty-one cases of EBV-associated tumors, which had been confirmed to express EBV, were examined. Tissue sections after in situ hybridization were double-stained immunohistochemically with the monoclonal anti-CD68 antibody. EBV expression in macrophages in the lesions of nasopharyngeal carcinoma, oral cancer, thyroid carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, testicular carcinoma, uterine carcinoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and anaplastic large-cell lymphoma was identified, whereas macrophages in normal or non-cancerous lesions showed no EBV expression. Many tumor-associated macrophages in EBV-related tumors carry EBV, which appears to induce the EBV lytic infection of macrophages. Therefore, the possibility that the lytic infection of macrophages by EBV and the resulting inflammation play certain roles in the oncogenesis of EBV-associated human tumors was raised.
macrophage; Epstein-Barr virus; inflammation; in situ hybridization
High-grade malignant nonHodgkin's lymphomas--five lymphoblastic, three pleomorphic, and two immunoblastic--developed in 10/25 cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) followed for up to 746 d after infection with simian immunodeficiency virus, strain SIVsm. These lymphomas were shown to be associated with an Epstein-Barr (EB)-like cynomolgus B- lymphotropic herpesvirus (CBLV) by electron microscopy, by Southern blot hybridization with probes against human EBV, and by the expression of antigens corresponding to EBV-associated nuclear antigens (EBNAs) involved in human B cells transformation. Southern blot demonstration of immunoglobulin gene rearrangements and homogeneous EBV episomes indicated that all the lymphomas were CBLV-associated monoclonal B cell proliferations. Our findings suggest that these tumors correspond to the EBV-associated malignant lymphomas in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome with respect to clinical, morphological, phenotypic, and genotypic characteristics. The particular susceptibility of SIVsm immunodeficient cynomolgus monkeys for CBLV-associated lymphomagenesis appears therefore a useful model for EBV-associated lymphomas in humans.
Acute Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is the most common cause of Infectious Mononucleosis. Nearly all adult humans harbor life-long, persistent EBV infection which can lead to development of cancers including Hodgkin Lymphoma, Burkitt Lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, gastric carcinoma, and lymphomas in immunosuppressed patients. BARF1 is an EBV replication-associated, secreted protein that blocks Colony Stimulating Factor 1 (CSF-1) signaling, an innate immunity pathway not targeted by any other virus species. To evaluate effects of BARF1 in acute and persistent infection, we mutated the BARF1 homologue in the EBV-related herpesvirus, or lymphocryptovirus (LCV), naturally infecting rhesus macaques to create a recombinant rhLCV incapable of blocking CSF-1 (ΔrhBARF1). Rhesus macaques orally challenged with ΔrhBARF1 had decreased viral load indicating that CSF-1 is important for acute virus infection. Surprisingly, ΔrhBARF1 was also associated with dramatically lower virus setpoints during persistent infection. Normal acute viral load and normal viral setpoints during persistent rhLCV infection could be restored by Simian/Human Immunodeficiency Virus-induced immunosuppression prior to oral inoculation with ΔrhBARF1 or infection of immunocompetent animals with a recombinant rhLCV where the rhBARF1 was repaired. These results indicate that BARF1 blockade of CSF-1 signaling is an important immune evasion strategy for efficient acute EBV infection and a significant determinant for virus setpoint during persistent EBV infection.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a herpesvirus that persistently infects nearly all humans by adulthood. Acute and persistent phases of EBV infection are associated with a variety of human diseases, including infectious mononucleosis and cancer. To investigate how EBV interacts with the host to successfully establish acute and persistent infection, we combined the power of the rhesus macaque animal model for EBV infection with genetic engineering of the EBV-related herpesvirus, or lymphocryptovirus (LCV), that naturally infects rhesus macaques. We created a recombinant rhLCV carrying a mutated EBV BARF1 homologue, a replication-associated viral protein that is secreted and blocks Colony Stimulating Factor-1 (CSF-1) signaling, a cytokine important for innate immunity. Oral inoculation of rhesus macaques showed that the virus' ability to block CSF-1 was important for achieving the normally high viral loads during acute infection, and surprisingly, was also needed to establish normal levels of virus infection, or viral setpoint, during persistent infection. These studies show that virus-mediated interruption of innate immunity is critical for both acute and persistent phases of EBV infection. Understanding how EBV successfully infects humans and how the natural history of EBV infection can be disrupted will aid in development of vaccines to prevent EBV-associated diseases.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated to the etio-pathogenesis of an increasing number of tumors. Detection of EBV in pathology samples is relevant since its high prevalence in some cancers makes the virus a promising target of specific therapies. RNA in situ hybridization (RISH) is the standard diagnostic procedure, while polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods are used for strain (EBV type-1 or 2) distinction. We performed a systematic comparison between RISH and PCR for EBV detection, in a group of childhood B-cell Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL), aiming to validate PCR as a first, rapid method for the diagnosis of EBV-associated B-cell NHL.
EBV infection was investigated in formalin fixed paraffin-embedded tumor samples of 41 children with B-cell NHL, including 35 Burkitt's lymphoma (BL), from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by in situ hybridization of EBV-encoded small RNA (EBER-RISH) and PCR assays based on EBNA2 amplification.
EBV genomes were detected in 68% of all NHL. Type 1 and 2 accounted for 80% and 20% of EBV infection, respectively. PCR and RISH were highly concordant (95%), as well as single- and nested-PCR results, allowing the use of a single PCR round for diagnostic purposes. PCR assays showed a sensitivity and specificity of 96% and 100%, respectively, with a detection level of 1 EBV genome in 5,000–10,000 EBV-negative cells, excluding the possibility of detecting low-number EBV-bearing memory cells.
We describe adequate PCR conditions with similar sensitivity and reliability to RISH, to be used for EBV diagnostic screening in high grade B-NHL, in "at risk" geographic regions.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) causes infectious mononucleosis and is associated with cancers in immunocompromised populations. EBV establishes a latent infection and immortalizes and transforms B lymphocytes. Several latent proteins have profound effects on cellular growth, including activation of NF-κB, phosphatidylinositol 3′-OH kinase (PI3K) signaling, and notch signaling. Activation of PI3K can affect the activity of β-catenin, the target of the wnt signaling pathway. Deregulation of β-catenin is associated with a number of malignancies. To determine if β-catenin is regulated by EBV infection, EBV-infected cells were examined for β-catenin levels and localization. β-Catenin was increased in EBV-positive tumor cell lines compared to EBV-negative lines, in EBV-infected Burkitt's lymphoma cell lines, and in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL). In contrast to wnt signaling, EBV consistently induced the accumulation of β-catenin in the cytoplasm but not the nucleus. The β-catenin regulating kinase, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β), was shown to be phosphorylated and inactivated in EBV-infected lymphocytes. Inactivated GSK3β was localized to the nucleus of EBV-infected LCL. Neither the cytoplasmic accumulation of β-catenin nor the nuclear inactivation of GSK3β was affected by the inhibition of PI3K signaling. These data indicate that latent infection with EBV has unique effects on β-catenin signaling that are distinct from activation of wnt and independent of its effects on PI3K.
This study is to identify the spectrum of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive lymphoproliferative diseases (LPD) and relationships between these diseases in Korea. The EBV status and clinicopathology of 764 patients, including acute EBV-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (EBV-HLH), chronic active EBV (CAEBV) infections, B-LPD arising in chronic latent EBV infection, T & natural killer (NK) cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL), B-NHLs, and Hodgkin's lymphomas (HD), were analyzed. T or NK cell NHLs were the most common forms of EBV-positive NHLs (107/167, 64%); among these, nasal-type NK/T cell lymphomas were the most common (89/107, 83%). According to the age, Burkitt's lymphoma was the most common in early childhood; in teenagers, chronic (active) EBV infection-associated LPD was the most common type. The incidence of NK/T cell lymphoma began to increase from the twenties and formed the major type of EBV-associated tumor throughout life. Diffuse large B cell lymphoma formed the major type in the sixties and seventies. In conclusion, primary infections in early childhood are complicated by the development of CAEBV infections that are main predisposing factors for EBV-associated T or NK cell malignancies in young adults. In old patients, decreased immunity associated with old age and environmental cofactors may provoke the development of peripheral T cell lymphoma, unspecified, and diffuse large B cell lymphoma.
Lymphoma; Epstein-Barr Virus; Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) persistently infects more than 90% of the human population and is etiologically linked to several B cell malignancies, including Burkitt lymphoma (BL), Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), and diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Despite its growth transforming properties, most immune-competent individuals control EBV infection throughout their lives. EBV encodes various oncogenes, and of the 6 latency-associated EBV-encoded nuclear antigens, only EBNA3B is completely dispensable for B cell transformation in vitro. Here, we report that infection with EBV lacking EBNA3B leads to aggressive, immune-evading monomorphic DLBCL-like tumors in NOD/SCID/γc–/– mice with reconstituted human immune system components. Infection with EBNA3B-knockout EBV (EBNA3BKO) induced expansion of EBV-specific T cells that failed to infiltrate the tumors. EBNA3BKO-infected B cells expanded more rapidly and secreted less T cell–chemoattractant CXCL10, reducing T cell recruitment in vitro and T cell–mediated killing in vivo. B cell lines from 2 EBV-positive human lymphomas encoding truncated EBNA3B exhibited gene expression profiles and phenotypic characteristics similar to those of tumor-derived lines from the humanized mice, including reduced CXCL10 secretion. Screening EBV-positive DLBCL, HL, and BL human samples identified additional EBNA3B mutations. Thus, EBNA3B is a virus-encoded tumor suppressor whose inactivation promotes immune evasion and virus-driven lymphomagenesis.
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human γ-herpes virus which establishes a life-long asymptomatic infection in immunocompetent hosts. In human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infected patients, the impaired immunosurveillance against EBV may favor the development of EBV-related diseases, ranging from lymphoproliferative disorders to B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL). Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has significantly modified the natural course of HIV-1 infection, resulting in decreased HIV-1 plasmaviremia, increased CD4 lymphocytes, and decreased opportunistic infections, indicating a restoration of immune functions. However, the impact of ART appears to be less favorable on EBV-related malignancies than on other AIDS-defining tumors, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma, and NHL remains the most common cancer during the ART era. EBV-driven tumors are associated with selective expression of latent oncogenic proteins, but uncontrolled lytic cycle with virus replication and/or reactivation may favor cell transformation, at least in the early phases. Several host’s factors may promote EBV reactivation and replication; besides immunodepression, inflammation/chronic immune stimulation may play an important role. Microbial pathogen-associated molecular patterns and endogenous damage-associated molecular patterns, through Toll-like receptors, activate the immune system and may promote EBV reactivation and/or polyclonal expansion of EBV-infected cells. A body of evidence suggests that chronic immune stimulation is a hallmark of HIV-1 pathogenesis and may persist even in ART-treated patients. This review focuses on lymphomagenesis driven by EBV both in the context of the natural history of HIV-1 infection and in ART-treated patients. Understanding the mechanisms involved in the expansion of EBV-infected cells is a premise for the identification of prognostic markers of EBV-associated malignancies.
EBV; HIV-1; B cell activation; chronic immune activation; EBV-related malignancies; antiretroviral therapy; EBV lytic reactivation
Anaplastic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells invariably harbor the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome, an association that is unique among human virus-associated cancers. Although EBV is able to replicate in epithelial cells, results with expression of the EBV receptor (complement receptor type 2 [CR2]; also called CD21) in normal and malignant epithelial cells are conflicting. We grew five different EBV-associated NPC tumors in nude mice, and by using a sensitive transcriptional assay, we detected a very weak transcription signal of the EBV receptor CR2 gene in these cells. This suggests that low levels of EBV receptor may be expressed by malignant epithelial nasopharyngeal cells. The gene coding for Blast2/CD23, a B-cell activation molecule induced by EBV, was transcribed in three of the transplanted NPC tumors. The soluble form of the Blast2/CD23 protein was also detected in medium taken from short-term cultures of the same NPC cell lines. In contrast to the lymphoid system, in which Blast2/CD23 expression is associated with EBV nuclear antigen (EBNA2) expression, no EBNA2 protein could be detected in these NPC epithelial cells. Our study represents the first demonstration of Blast2/CD23 expression in epithelial cells. As the soluble form of the Blast2/CD23 protein possesses growth factor activity associated with EBV-induced B-cell immortalization, these results suggest a possible role for this molecule in the pathogenesis of NPC.
Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) triggering is a promising novel strategy to combat cancer as it induces innate and adaptive immunity responses. B-cell lymphoma is unique in this context as tumor cells express TLR9 and may harbor latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a gamma-herpesvirus with remarkable oncogenic potential when latent. Latent EBV may be promoted by TLR9 triggering via suppression of lytic EBV. Here, we elaborated an initial assessment of the impact of TLR9 triggering on EBV-positive and EBV-negative B-cell lymphoma using Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cell lines as an in vitro model. We show that, independent of the presence of EBV, the TLR9 ligand oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) CpG-2006 may or may not induce caspase-dependent cell death in BL cells. Moreover, ODN CpG-2006-induced cell death responses of BL cells were associated with TLR9 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs5743836 or rs352140, which we detected in primary BL tumors and in peripheral blood from healthy individuals at similar frequencies. Thus, our findings suggest that the effect of TLR9 agonists on BL cells should be tested in vitro before installment of therapy and TLR9 SNPs in BL patients should be determined as potential biological markers for the therapeutic response to treatment targeting innate immunity.
Burkitt's lymphoma; Epstein-Barr virus; Toll-like receptor TLR 9 agonists; polymorphism; CpG
Latent EBV infection is associated with several malignancies, including EBV post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD), Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and Burkitt lymphoma. The range of expression of latent EBV antigens varies in these tumors, which influences how susceptible the tumors are to immunotherapeutic approaches. Tumors expressing type III latency, such as in LPD, express the widest array of EBV antigens making them the most susceptible to immunotherapy. Treatment strategies for EBV-related tumors include restoring normal cellular immunity by adoptive immunotherapy with EBV-specific T cells and targeting the malignant B cells with monoclonal antibodies. We review the current immunotherapies and future studies aimed at targeting EBV antigen expression in these tumors.
Since the discovery of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) from a cultured Burkitt's lymphoma cell line in 1964, the virus has been associated with Burkitt's lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and infectious mononucleosis. During the recent decade, EBV has been etiologically implicated in a broad spectrum of human diseases. The precise role of this virus in these diseases is not well understood, but clearly, defective immunosurveillance against the virus may permit an uncontrolled proliferation of EBV-infected cells. As a result, a growing number of cases of EBV-associated B-cell proliferative diseases or lymphoma have been noted in patients with primary and acquired immunodeficiencies. These lymphoproliferative diseases and others, such as chronic mononucleosis syndrome, are leading to new areas of investigation which are providing information regarding the pathogenetic mechanisms of EBV-induced diseases. The early accurate diagnosis of EBV infection can be achieved by performing EBV-specific serology, detecting for EBV-determined nuclear antigen in tissues, establishing spontaneous lymphoid cell lines, and using molecular hybridization techniques for demonstrating the presence of viral genome in affected lesions.
Among the novel biologic therapeutics that will increase our ability to cure human cancer in the years to come, T cell therapy is one of the most promising approaches. However, with the possible exception of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes therapy for melanoma, clinical trials of adoptive T-cell therapy for solid tumors have so far provided only clear proofs-of-principle to build on with further development. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated malignancies offer a unique model to develop T cell-based immune therapies, targeting viral antigens expressed on tumor cells. In the last two decades, EBV-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) have been successfully employed for the prophylaxis and treatment of EBV-related lymphoproliferative disorders in immunocompromised hosts. More recently, this therapeutic approach has been applied to the setting of EBV-related solid tumors, such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The results are encouraging, although further improvements to the clinical protocols are clearly necessary to increase anti-tumor activity. Promising implementations are underway, including harnessing the therapeutic potential of CTLs specific for subdominant EBV latent cycle epitopes, and delineating strategies aimed at targeting immune evasion mechanisms exerted by tumor cells.
nasopharyngeal carcinoma; T-cell therapy; cytotoxic T lymphocytes; Epstein-Barr virus.
Loss of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome from Akata Burkitt lymphoma (BL) cells is coincident with a loss of malignant phenotype, despite the fact that Akata and other EBV-positive BL cells express a restricted set of EBV gene products (type I latency) that are not known to overtly affect cell growth. Here we demonstrate that reestablishment of type I latency in EBV-negative Akata cells restores tumorigenicity and that tumorigenic potential correlates with an increased resistance to apoptosis under growth-limiting conditions. The antiapoptotic effect of EBV was associated with a higher level of Bcl-2 expression and an EBV-dependent decrease in steady-state levels of c-MYC protein. Although the EBV EBNA-1 protein is expressed in all EBV-associated tumors and is reported to have oncogenic potential, enforced expression of EBNA-1 alone in EBV-negative Akata cells failed to restore tumorigenicity or EBV-dependent down-regulation of c-MYC. These data provide direct evidence that EBV contributes to the tumorigenic potential of Burkitt lymphoma and suggest a novel model whereby a restricted latency program of EBV promotes B-cell survival, and thus virus persistence within an immune host, by selectively targeting the expression of c-MYC.
Nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma is an aggressive subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that is closely associated with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV). The clonal expansion of EBV-infected NK or T cells is also seen in patients with chronic active EBV (CAEBV) infection, suggesting that two diseases might share a partially similar mechanism by which EBV affects host cellular gene expression. To understand the pathogenesis of EBV-associated NK/T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD) and design new therapies, we employed a novel EBV DNA microarray to compare patterns of EBV expression in six cell lines established from EBV-associated NK/T-cell LPD. We found that expression of BZLF1, which encodes the immediate-early gene product Zta, was expressed in SNK/T cells and the expression levels were preferentially high in cell lines from CAEBV infection. We also analyzsd the gene expression patterns of host cellular genes using a human oligonucleotide DNA microarray. We identified a subset of pathogenically and clinically relevant host cellular genes, including TNFRSF10D, CDK2, HSPCA, IL12A as a common molecular biological properties of EBV-associated NK/T-cell LPD and a subset of genes, such as PDCD4 as a putative contributor for disease progression. This study describes a novel approach from the aspects of viral and host gene expression, which could identify novel therapeutic targets in EBV-associated NK/T-cell LPD.
Epstein Barr virus; nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma; EBV DNA microarray; CAEBV infection
Purpose of review
Co-infection with Plasmodium falciparum (Pf-) malaria and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are implicated in the etiology of endemic Burkitt lymphoma (eBL), the most prevalent pediatric cancer in equatorial Africa. Although the causal association between EBV and eBL has been established, Pf-malaria’s role is not as clearly defined. This review focuses on how malaria may disrupt EBV persistence and immunity.
Two mutually-compatible theories have been proposed. One suggests that Pf-malaria induces polyclonal B-cell expansion and lytic EBV reactivation, leading to the expansion of latently infected B-cells and the likelihood of c-myc translocation; a hallmark of BL tumors. The other advocates that EBV-specific T-cell immunity is impaired during Pf-malaria co-infection, either as a cause or consequence of enhanced EBV replication, leading to loss of viral control. Advancements in our ability to query the complexity of human responses to infectious diseases have stimulated interest in eBL pathogenesis.
EBV is necessary but not sufficient to cause eBL. A more dynamic model encompasses incremental contributions from both chronic and acute Pf-malaria leading to alterations in EBV persistence and EBV-specific immunity that culminate in eBL. A better understanding of how Pf-malaria modifies EBV infections in children may allow us to anticipate reductions in eBL incidence coinciding with malaria control programs.
Malaria; EBV; endemic Burkitt lymphoma; T-cell immunity; B-cell immunity
Epstein-Bar virus (EBV), a human herpesvirus, establishes a life-long persistent infection in 90~95% of human adult population worldwide. EBV is the etiologic agent of infectious mononucleosis, and EBV is associated with a variety of human malignancy including lymphoma and gastric carcinoma. Recently, EBV has been classified as group 1 carcinogen by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer. Evidence is presented which suggests that failures of the EBV-specific immunity may play a role in the pathogenesis of EBV-associated malignancy. At present, the precise mechanisms by which EBV transforms B lymphocytes have been disclosed. Encouragingly, they have had enough success so far to keep them enthusiastic about novel therapeutic trial in the field of EBV-associated lymphoma. However, information on EBV-associated gastric carcinoma is still at dawn. This article reviews EBV biology, immunological response of EBV infection, unique oncogenic property of EBV, peculiarity of EBV-associated gastric carcinoma, and lastly, EBV-targeted therapy and vaccination.
Human herpes virus 4; Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); Oncogenic virus; Stomach neoplasms; Lymphoma; EBV-targeted treatment