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EMBO J. 1995 Aug 1;14(15):3706-11.

Persistent Epstein-Barr virus infection in a human T-cell line: unique program of latent virus expression.

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Department of Virology and Parasitology, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, Japan.


The growth transforming potential of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) for Burkitt's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma is now extended to other neoplasia, such as Hodgkin's disease, peripheral T-cell tumor and gastric cancer. We have generated an EBV recombinant with a selectable marker at the viral thymidine kinase locus. Recombinant EBV was successfully infected into a human T-cell line, MT-2. Following incubation in the selective medium, drug resistant MT-2 cell clones were isolated and proved to be infected with recombinant EBV. EBV-infected MT-2 cell clones expressed EBNA 1 and LMP 1 and very little of EBNA 2, showing the BamHI F promoter-driven latency II form of infection, which is seen in non-B-cell tumors. This is the first report of in vitro generation of latency II type EBV infection. The present system of persistent EBV infection in T cells should be a good model for investigating the pathogenic role of EBV in non-B-cell tumors.

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