The latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) of EBV plays a key role in regulating viral latency and EBV pathogenesis by functionally mimicking a constitutively active B cell Ag receptor. When expressed as a B cell-specific transgene in mice, LMP2A drives B cell development, resulting in the bypass of normal developmental checkpoints. In this study, we have demonstrated that expression of LMP2A in transgenic mice results in B cell development that exclusively favors B-1 cells. This switch to B-1 cell development occurs at the pre-B-cell stage of normal B cell development in the bone marrow, a B cell stage much earlier than appreciated for B-1 commitment. This finding indicates that all pre-B cells have the capacity to assume a B-1 cell phenotype if they encounter the appropriate signal during normal development. Furthermore, these studies offer insight into EBV latency and pathogenesis in the human host.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy