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Oncogene. 2004 Apr 1;23(14):2531-9.

Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein 1 induces micronucleus formation, represses DNA repair and enhances sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents in human epithelial cells.

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National Health Research Institutes, 3F No. 109, Section 6, Min-Chuan East Road, Taipei 114, Taiwan.


The latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a viral oncogene and it is essential for the transformation of resting B cells by the virus. The protein acts as a ligand-less membrane receptor and triggers numerous cellular signaling pathways. Cellular transformation frequently has been associated with genomic instability. To investigate whether EBV LMP1 induces chromosomal aberrations, micronucleus (MN) formation was examined in LMP1-expressing epithelial cells. The expression of wild-type LMP1 enhanced both spontaneous and bleomycin-induced MN formation. MN formation may be induced by inactivation of DNA repair and, therefore, we investigated the effect of LMP1 on DNA repair, using a host cell reactivation (HCR) assay. In the HCR assay, LMP1 reduced the capacity for DNA repair of both NPC-TW01 (p53-wild-type) and H1299 (p53-deficient) cells. As reduction of DNA repair by LMP1 occurs in p53-wild-type and p53-deficient cells, it seems that LMP1 can repress DNA repair in a p53-independent manner. Inactivation of DNA repair may render cells sensitive to DNA-damaging agents. In this study, H1299 cells harboring LMP1 were shown to be more sensitive to UV and bleomycin than those with a vector control. Using various deletion mutants of EBV LMP1 to determine the regions of LMP1 required to enhance MN formation, inhibit DNA repair and sensitize cells to DNA-damaging agents, we found that the region a. a. 189-222 (located within the CTAR1 domain) was responsible for sensitizing cells to UV and bleomycin, as well as for enhancing MN formation and repressing DNA repair. Based on these results, we suggest that disruption of DNA repair by LMP-1 results in an accumulation of unrepaired DNA and consequent genomic instability, which may contribute to the oncogenesis of LMP1 in human epithelial cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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