Epstein-Barr virus small RNAs potentiate tumorigenicity of Burkitt lymphoma cells independently of an effect on apoptosis

I. K. Ruf, P. W. Rhyne, C. Yang, J. L. Clevel, J. T. Sample

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The tumorigenic potential of the Burkitt lymphoma (BL) cell line Akata is dependent on the restricted latency program of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) that is characteristically maintained in BL tumors. Within these cells, EBV-mediated inhibition of apoptosis correlates with an up-regulation of BCL-2 levels in concert with a down-regulation in c-MYC expression that occurs under growth-limiting conditions. Here we addressed whether EBV's effects on apoptosis and tumorigenicity are mediated by the EBV small RNAs EBER-1 and EBER-2. Stable expression of the EBERs in EBV-negative Akata BL cells, at levels comparable to those in EBV-positive cells, significantly enhanced the tumorigenic potential of EBV-negative BL cells in SCID mice, but did not fully restore tumorigenicity relative to EBV-positive Akata cells. Furthermore, wild-type or greater levels of EBER expression in EBV-negative Akata cells did not promote BL cell survival. These data therefore suggest that EBV can contribute to BL through at least two avenues: an EBER-dependent mechanism that enhances tumorigenic potential independent of a direct effect on apoptosis, and a second mechanism, mediated by an as-yet-unidentified EBV gene(s), that offsets the proapoptotic consequences of deregulated c-MYC in BL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10223-10228
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Volume74
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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