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J Virol. May 1990; 64(5): 2309–2318.
PMCID: PMC249392

Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein (LMP1) and nuclear proteins 2 and 3C are effectors of phenotypic changes in B lymphocytes: EBNA-2 and LMP1 cooperatively induce CD23.


Latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and growth transformation of B lymphocytes is characterized by EBV nuclear and membrane protein expression (EBV nuclear antigen [EBNA] and latent membrane protein [LMP], respectively). LMP1 is known to be an oncogene in rodent fibroblasts and to induce B-lymphocyte activation and cellular adhesion molecules in the EBV-negative Burkitt's lymphoma cell line Louckes. EBNA-2 is required for EBV-induced growth transformation; it lowers rodent fibroblast serum dependence and specifically induces the B-lymphocyte activation antigen CD23 in Louckes cells. These initial observations are now extended through an expanded study of EBNA- and LMP1-induced phenotypic effects in a different EBV-negative B-lymphoma cell line, BJAB. LMP1 effects were also evaluated in the EBV-negative B-lymphoma cell line BL41 and the EBV-positive Burkitt's lymphoma cell line, Daudi (Daudi is deleted for EBNA-2 and does not express LMP). Previously described EBNA-2- and LMP1-transfected Louckes cells were studied in parallel. EBNA-2, from EBV-1 strains but not EBV-2, induced CD23 and CD21 expression in transfected BJAB cells. In contrast, EBNA-3C induced CD21 but not CD23, while no changes were evident in vector control-, EBNA-1-, or EBNA-LP-transfected clones. EBNAs did not affect CD10, CD30, CD39, CD40, CD44, or cellular adhesion molecules. LMP1 expression in all cell lines induced growth in large clumps and expression of the cellular adhesion molecules ICAM-1, LFA-1, and LFA-3 in those cell lines which constitutively express low levels. LMP1 expression induced marked homotypic adhesion in the BJAB cell line, despite the fact that there was no significant increase in the high constitutive BJAB LFA-1 and ICAM-1 levels, suggesting that LMP1 also induces an associated functional change in these molecules. LMP1 induction of these cellular adhesion molecules was also associated with increased heterotypic adhesion to T lymphocytes. The Burkitt's lymphoma marker, CALLA (CD10), was uniformly down regulated by LMP1 in all cell lines. In contrast, LMP1 induced unique profiles of B-lymphocyte activation antigens in the various cell lines. LMP1 induced CD23 and CD39 in BJAB; CD23 in Louckes; CD39 and CD40 in BL41; and CD21, CD40, and CD44 in Daudi. In BJAB, CD23 surface and mRNA expression were markedly increased by EBNA-2 and LMP1 coexpression, compared with EBNA-2 or LMP1 alone. This cooperative effect was CD23 specific, since no such effect was observed on another marker, CD21.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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