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J Virol. 2011 Jul;85(13):6764-73. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00422-11. Epub 2011 May 4.

Canonical NF-kappaB activation is essential for Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein 1 TES2/CTAR2 gene regulation.

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  • 1Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 181 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) transforms rodent fibroblasts and is expressed in most EBV-associated malignancies. LMP1 (transformation effector site 2 [TES2]/C-terminal activation region 2 [CTAR2]) activates NF-κB, p38, Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) pathways. We have investigated LMP1 TES2 genome-wide RNA effects at 4 time points after LMP1 TES2 expression in HEK-293 cells. By using a false discovery rate (FDR) of <0.001 after correction for multiple hypotheses, LMP1 TES2 caused >2-fold changes in 1,916 mRNAs; 1,479 RNAs were upregulated and 437 were downregulated. In contrast to tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) stimulation, which transiently upregulates many target genes, LMP1 TES2 maintained most RNA effects through the time course, despite robust and sustained induction of negative feedback regulators, such as IκBα and A20. LMP1 TES2-regulated RNAs encode many NF-κB signaling proteins and secondary interacting proteins. Consequently, many LMP1 TES2-regulated RNAs encode proteins that form an extensive interactome. Gene set enrichment analyses found LMP1 TES2-upregulated genes to be significantly enriched for pathways in cancer, B- and T-cell receptor signaling, and Toll-like receptor signaling. Surprisingly, LMP1 TES2 and IκBα superrepressor coexpression decreased LMP1 TES2 RNA effects to only 5 RNAs, with FDRs of <0.001-fold and >2-fold changes. Thus, canonical NF-κB activation is critical for almost all LMP1 TES2 RNA effects in HEK-293 cells and a more significant therapeutic target than previously appreciated.

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