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EMBO J. 1996 Jan 15;15(2):375-82.

Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 2 is a transcriptional suppressor of the immunoglobulin mu gene: implications for the expression of the translocated c-myc gene in Burkitt's lymphoma cells.

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Institut für Klinische Molekularbiologie und Tumorgenetik, GSF-Forschungszentrum fur Umwelt und Gesundheit, München, Germany.


A conditional mutant of Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 2 (EBNA2) regulated by estrogen was employed to study the effect of EBNA2 on the cellular phenotype. Activation of EBNA2 in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and in B cell lymphoma lines resulted in down-regulation of cell surface IgM and Ig-mu steady-state RNA expression. In LCLs, activation of EBNA2 is required for maintaining proliferation, whereas in Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cell lines with t(8;14) translocations, activation of EBNA2 induces growth arrest. In these cells, Northern and nuclear run-on analyses revealed rapid simultaneous repression of Ig-mu and c-myc transcription as early as 30 min after activation of EBNA2. Since c-myc expression is under the control of the Ig heavy chain locus in BL cell lines with a t(8;14) translocation, we propose that Ig-mu and c-myc are down-regulated by EBNA2 through a common mechanism.

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