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J Virol. 1999 Dec;73(12):9827-31.

Oncogenic role of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNAs in Burkitt's lymphoma cell line Akata.

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Department of Virology, Cancer Institute, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.


Our previous reports indicated that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) contributes to the malignant phenotype and resistance to apoptosis in Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cell line Akata (N. Shimizu, A. Tanabe-Tochikura, Y. Kuroiwa, and K. Takada, J. Virol. 68:6069-6073, 1994; J. Komano, M. Sugiura, and K. Takada, J. Virol. 72:9150-9156, 1998). Here we report that the EBV-encoded small RNAs (EBERs) are responsible for these phenotypes. Transfection of the EBER genes into EBV-negative Akata clones restored the capacity for growth in soft agar, tumorigenicity in SCID mice, resistance to apoptotic inducers, and upregulated expression of bcl-2 oncoprotein that were originally retained in parental EBV-positive Akata cells and lost in EBV-negative subclones. This is the first report which provides evidence that virus-encoded RNAs (EBERs) have oncogenic functions in BL cells.

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