Epstein-Barr virus LMP2A enhances B-cell responses in vivo and in vitro

Michelle Swanson-Mungerson, Rebecca Bultema, Richard Longnecker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) establishes latent infections in a significant percentage of the population. Latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) is an EBV protein expressed during latency that inhibits B-cell receptor signaling in lymphoblastoid cell lines. In the present study, we have utilized a transgenic mouse system in which LMP2A is expressed in B cells that are specific for hen egg lysozyme (E/HEL-Tg). To determine if LMP2A allows B cells to respond to antigen, E/HEL-Tg mice were immunized with hen egg lysozyme. E/HEL-Tg mice produced antibody in response to antigen, indicating that LMP2A allows B cells to respond to antigen. In addition, E/HEL-Tg mice produced more antibody and an increased percentage of plasma cells after immunization compared to HEL-Tg littermates, suggesting that LMP2A increased the antibody response in vivo. Finally, in vitro studies determined that LMP2A acts directly on the B cell to increase antibody production by augmenting the expansion and survival of the activated B cells, as well as increasing the percentage of plasma cells generated. Taken together, these data suggest that LMP2A enhances, not diminishes, B-cell-specific antibody responses in vivo and in vitro in the E/HEL-Tg system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6764-6770
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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