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Cancer Res. 1994 Apr 1;54(7):1843-8.

Expression and tumorigenicity of the Epstein-Barr virus BARF1 gene in human Louckes B-lymphocyte cell line.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Virologie Moléculaire, Immuno-Virologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Université Claude Bernard, Faculté de Médecine, Lyon, France.


We previously showed that the Epstein-Barr virus, which encodes the BARF1 gene, could transform rodent fibroblasts. In this work, the expression of the BARF1 gene was studied in the human Louckes B-lymphocyte cell line. Introduction of the BARF1 open reading frame under the control of the Mo-MuLV LTR promotor into nontumorigenic Louckes lymphoid cells led to the activation of the c-myc protooncogene and increased expression of the B-cell surface proteins, the transferrin receptor, CD21, and CD23. BARF1-expressing cells induced a diffuse lymphoma-like tumor in newborn rats treated with anti-thymocyte serum that was, however, transient and regressed after 3-4 weeks as the immune system recovered. The tumor induction was similar to that observed with lymphoid cell lines in vitro generated by infection with the B95-8 virus strain, in which lytic antigens are expressed at low levels. After long-term culture, Louckes cell clones lost expression of the BARF1 gene and were unable to induce tumors.

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