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Microbes Infect. 2008 Jun;10(7):748-56. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2008.04.002. Epub 2008 Apr 13.

Induction of apoptosis in Epstein-Barr virus-infected B-lymphocytes by the NF-kappaB inhibitor DHMEQ.

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Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, Department of Medical Genome Sciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) causes EBV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases in patients with profound immune suppression. Most of these diseases are life-threatening and the prognosis of AIDS-associated lymphomas is extremely unfavorable. Polyclonal expansion of virus infected B-cell predisposes them to transformation. We investigated the possibility of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) inhibition by dehydroxymethylepoxyquinomicin (DHMEQ) for the treatment and prevention of EBV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases. We examined the effect of DHMEQ on apoptosis induction in four EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines as well as peripheral blood mononuclear cells infected with EBV under immunosuppressed condition. DHMEQ inhibits NF-kappaB activation in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines and induces apoptosis by activation of mitochondrial and membranous pathways. Using an in vivo NOD/SCIDgammac mouse model, we showed that DHMEQ has a potent inhibitory effect on the growth of lymphoblastoid cells. In addition, DHMEQ selectively purges EBV-infected cells expressing latent membrane protein (LMP) 1 from peripheral blood mononuclear cells and inhibits the outgrowth of lymphoblastoid cells. These results suggest that NF-kappaB is a molecular target for the treatment and prevention of EBV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases. As a potent NF-kappaB inhibitor, DHMEQ is a potential compound for applying this strategy in clinical medicine.

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