Induction of bcl-2 expression by epstein-barr virus latent membrane protein 1 protects infected B cells from programmed cell death

Sheila Henderson*, Martin Rowe, Chris Gregory, Debbie Croom-Carter, Fred Wang, Richard Longnecker, Elliott Kieff, Alan Rickinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1019 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) not only induces growth transformation in human B lymphocytes, but has more recently been shown to enhance B cell survival under suboptimal conditions where growth is inhibited; both effects are mediated through the coordinate action of eight virus-coded latent proteins. The effect upon cell survival is best recognized in EBV-positive Burkitt's lymphoma cell lines where activation of full virus latent gene expression protects the cells from programmed cell death (apoptosis). Here we show by DNA transfection into human B cells that protection from apoptosis is conferred through expression of a single EBV latent protein, the latent membrane protein LMP 1. Furthermore, we demonstrate that LMP 1 mediates this effect by. up-regulating expression of the cellular oncogene bcl-2. The interplay between EBV infection and expression of this cellular oncogene has important implications for virus persistence and for the pathogenesis of virus-associated malignant disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1115
Number of pages9
JournalCell
Volume65
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 28 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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