A significant percentage of the population latently harbors Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in B cells. One EBV-encoded protein, latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A), is expressed in tissue culture models of EBV latent infection, in human infections, and in many of the EBV-associated proliferative disorders. LMP2A constitutively activates proteins involved in the B-cell receptor (BCR) signal transduction cascade and inhibits the antigen-induced activation of these proteins. In the present study, we investigated whether LMP2A alters B-cell receptor signaling in primary B cells in vivo and in vitro. LMP2A does not inhibit antigen-induced tolerance in response to strong stimuli in an in vivo tolerance model in which B cells are reactive to self-antigen. In contrast, LMP2A bypasses anergy induction in response to low levels of soluble hen egg lysozyme (HEL) both in vivo and in vitro as determined by the ability of LMP2A-expressing HEL-specific B cells to proliferate and induce NF-κB nuclear translocation after exposure to low levels of antigen. Furthermore, LMP2A induces NF-κB nuclear translocation independent of BCR cross-linking. Since NF-κB is required to bypass tolerance induction, this LMP2A-dependent NF-κB activation may complete the tolerogenic signal induced by low levels of soluble HEL. Overall, the findings suggest that LMP2A may not inhibit BCR-induced signals under all conditions as previously suggested by studies with EBV immortalized B cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science