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Oncogene. 1995 Sep 21;11(6):1027-31.

The EBV-encoded LMP1 protein inhibits p53-triggered apoptosis but not growth arrest.

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Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


We have previously shown that exogenous wild type p53 induces apoptosis in the Burkitt lymphoma line BL41 that carries endogenous mutant p53, using a temperature sensitive p53 construct expressed as mutant p53 at 37 degrees C and wild type p53 at 32 degrees C (Ramqvist et al., Oncogene, 8, 1495-1500, 1993). We also found that wild type p53-induced apoptosis is blocked by bcl-2 in a mouse T lymphoma line (Wang et al., Oncogene, 8, 3427-3431, 1993) The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) can protect Burkitt lymphoma cells from apoptosis induced by low serum. In order to test if LMP1 can block p53-triggered apoptosis, we infected BL41 cells expressing the ts p53 construct with an LMP1-carrying retrovirus. The LMP1-expressing BL41-ts p53 cells were arrested in G1 upon induction of wild type p53 expression at 32 degrees C, but did not enter apoptosis as shown by the absence of positive TUNEL staining. WAF1/p21 mRNA was induced at 32 degrees C in both the ts p53-expressing and ts p53/LMP1-expressing BL41 cells. Thus, LMP1 prevents p53-induced apoptosis but does not interfere with induction of WAF1/p21. The LMP1-infected cells expressed elevated bcl-2 protein levels. Therefore, our data suggest that LMP1 blocks p53-triggered apoptosis but not G1 arrest by upregulating bcl-2 expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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