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Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 23;5:16706. doi: 10.1038/srep16706.

Epstein-Barr virus from Burkitt Lymphoma biopsies from Africa and South America share novel LMP-1 promoter and gene variations.

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Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland.
Bethesda Maryland, formerly NCI.
Noguchi Memorial Institute, Accra, Ghana.
Department of Child Health, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
Laboratorio Stamboulian, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Department of Pediatric Oncology, St Marcelina Hospital, Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland.


Epstein Barr virus (EBV) sequence variation is thought to contribute to Burkitt lymphoma (BL), but lack of data from primary BL tumors hampers efforts to test this hypothesis. We directly sequenced EBV from 12 BL biopsies from Ghana, Brazil, and Argentina, aligned the obtained reads to the wild-type (WT) EBV reference sequence, and compared them with 100 published EBV genomes from normal and diseased people from around the world. The 12 BL EBVs were Type 1. Eleven clustered close to each other and to EBV from Raji BL cell line, but away from 12 EBVs reported from other BL-derived cell lines and away from EBV from NPC and healthy people from Asia. We discovered 23 shared novel nucleotide-base changes in the latent membrane protein (LMP)-1 promoter and gene (associated with 9 novel amino acid changes in the LMP-1 protein) of the 11 BL EBVs. Alignment of this region for the 112 EBV genomes revealed four distinct patterns, tentatively termed patterns A to D. The distribution of BL EBVs was 48%, 8%, 24% and 20% for patterns A to D, respectively; the NPC EBV's were Pattern B, and EBV-WT was pattern D. Further work is needed to investigate the association between EBV LMP-1 patterns with BL.

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