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J Pathol. 2008 Sep;216(1):83-92. doi: 10.1002/path.2384.

The Epstein-Barr virus oncoprotein, latent membrane protein-1, reprograms germinal centre B cells towards a Hodgkin's Reed-Sternberg-like phenotype.

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Cancer Research UK Institute for Cancer Studies, The Medical School, University of Birmingham, UK.


Although the latent membrane protein-1 (LMP1) of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is believed to be important for the transformation of germinal centre (GC) B cells, the precise contribution of this viral oncogene to lymphoma development is poorly understood. In this study, we used a non-viral vector-based method to express LMP1 in primary human GC B cells. Gene expression profiling revealed that LMP1 induced in GC B cells transcriptional changes characteristic of Hodgkin's lymphoma cell lines. Strikingly, LMP1 down-regulated the expression of B-cell-specific genes including B-cell receptor components such as CD79A, CD79B, CD19, CD20, CD22, and BLNK. LMP1 also induced the expression of ID2, a negative regulator of B-cell differentiation. Our data suggest that in EBV-positive cases, LMP1 is likely to be a major contributor to the altered transcriptional pattern characteristic of Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg cells, including the loss of B-cell identity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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