The LMP2A ITAM is essential for providing B cells with development and survival signals in vivo

M. Merchant, R. G. Caldwell, R. Longnecker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


In Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cells, known as lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs), LMP2A binds the tyrosine kinases Syk and Lyn, blocking B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling and viral lytic replication. SH2 domains in Syk mediate binding to a phosphorylated immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM) in LMP2A. Mutation of the LMP2A ITAM in LCLs eliminates Syk binding and allows for full BCR signaling, thereby delineating the significance of the LMP2A-Syk interaction. In transgenic mice, LMP2A causes a developmental alteration characterized by a block in surface immunoglobulin rearrangement resulting in BCR-negative B cells. Normally B cells lacking cognate BCR are rapidly apoptosed; however, LMP2A transgenic B cells develop and survive without a BCR. When bred into the recombinase activating gene 1 null (RAG(-/-)) background, all LMP2A transgenic lines produce BCR-negative B cells that develop and survive in the periphery. These data indicate that LMP2A imparts developmental and survival signals to B cells in vivo. In this study, LMP2A ITAM mutant transgenic mice were generated to investigate whether the LMP2A ITAM is essential for the survival phenotype in vivo. LMP2A ITAM mutant B cells develop normally, although transgene expression is comparable to that in previously described nonmutated LMP2A transgenic B cells. Additionally, LMP2A ITAM mutant mice are unable to promote B-cell development or survival when bred into the RAG(-/-) background or when grown in methylcellulose containing interleukin-7. These data demonstrate that the LMP2A ITAM is required for LMP2A-mediated developmental and survival signals in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9115-9124
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Virology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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