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Int J Cancer. 1999 May 5;81(3):371-5.

Sequence polymorphisms between latent membrane proteins LMP1 and LMP2A do not correlate in EBV-associated reactive and malignant lympho-proliferations.

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LINK Laboratories at the Cancer Center, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, USA.


The latent membrane proteins LMP1 and LMP2A are co-expressed in most malignancies associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). In contrast with the transforming LMP1 oncoprotein, LMP2A is expressed in lymphocytes of healthy EBV carriers and considered to maintain viral latency. Critical for these LMP2A functions are a transmembranous epitope recognized by specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and the N-terminal immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM), blocking B-cell receptor signaling. To characterize ITAM and CTL motifs of LMP2A and to correlate them with C-terminal variants of LMP1 including the 30-bp deletion variant (LMP1delta), comparative sequence analysis was performed on 76 samples from patients with reactive and malignant lympho-proliferation (infectious mononucleosis, n=21; tonsillar hyperplasia, n=16, chronic lympho-proliferation, n = 9; Hodgkin's disease, n = 8; Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, n = 5; AIDS-related large-cell lymphoma, n=17). The CTL motif was conserved in all but 2 cases (C426-->S). The ITAM motif was characterized by strictly conserved YXXL sequences in all cases, with a sequence polymorphism in between. The B95.8 prototype was found in 17% (13/76) of cases, while in 72% a variant with 3 point mutations (166796 C-->A, 166805 C-->A, 166810 C-->T) was detected; 11% had 1 or 2 of these mutations in addition to G-->A at 166793. In the C terminus of LMP1, a hypervariable region including LMP1delta was described in 61% of cases. There was no significant association of a particular LMP2A variant with either malignant phenotype or LMP1delta, demonstrating that the functional domains of LMP2A are conserved and that the sequence polymorphisms in LMP1 and LMP2A are independent.

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