Analysis of Epstein-Barr virus-regulated host gene expression changes through primary B-cell outgrowth reveals delayed kinetics of latent membrane protein 1-mediated NF-κB activation.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an oncogenic human herpesvirus that dramatically reorganizes host gene expression to immortalize primary B cells. In this study, we analyzed EBV-regulated host gene expression changes following primary B-cell infection, both during initial proliferation and through transformation into lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). While most EBV-regulated mRNAs were changed during the transition from resting, uninfected B cells through initial B-cell proliferation, a substantial number of mRNAs changed uniquely from early proliferation through LCL outgrowth. We identified constitutively and dynamically EBV-regulated biological processes, protein classes, and targets of specific transcription factors. Early after infection, genes associated with proliferation, stress responses, and the p53 pathway were highly enriched. However, the transition from early to long-term outgrowth was characterized by genes involved in the inhibition of apoptosis, the actin cytoskeleton, and NF-κB activity. It was previously thought that the major viral protein responsible for NF-κB activation, latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), is expressed within 2 days after infection. Our data indicate that while this is true, LCL-level LMP1 expression and NF-κB activity are not evident until 3 weeks after primary B-cell infection. Furthermore, heterologous NF-κB activation during the first week after infection increased the transformation efficiency, while early NF-κB inhibition had no effect on transformation. Rather, inhibition of NF-κB was not toxic to EBV-infected cells until LMP1 levels and NF-κB activity were high. These data collectively highlight the dynamic nature of EBV-regulated host gene expression and support the notion that early EBV-infected proliferating B cells have a fundamentally distinct growth and survival phenotype from that of LCLs.
Published Version (Please cite this version)
Price, Alexander M, Jason P Tourigny, Eleonora Forte, Raul E Salinas, Sandeep S Dave and Micah A Luftig (2012). Analysis of Epstein-Barr virus-regulated host gene expression changes through primary B-cell outgrowth reveals delayed kinetics of latent membrane protein 1-mediated NF-κB activation. Journal of virology, 86(20). pp. 11096–11106. 10.1128/jvi.01069-12 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/24736.
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The Luftig laboratory studies viruses that cause cancer with an overarching goal of defining the basic molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenesis and leveraging these findings for diagnostic value and therapeutic intervention. Our work primarily focuses on the common herpesvirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This virus latently infects virtually all adults worldwide being acquired early in life. In the immune suppressed, EBV promotes lymphomas in the B cells that it naturally infects. However, EBV can also infect epithelial cells and other lymphocytes contributing to human cancers as wide-ranging as nasopharyngeal and gastric carcinoma to aggressive NK/T-cell, Burkitt, and Hodgkin lymphomas. Overall, EBV contributes to approximately 2% of all human cancers worldwide leading to nearly 200,000 deaths annually.
We use cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary and highly collaborative approaches to characterize the temporal dynamics and single cell heterogeneity of EBV infection. With these strategies, we aim to discover fundamental molecular circuits underlying transcriptional control, viral manipulation of host signaling pathways, and metabolic regulation that collectively influence infected cell fate decisions. By understanding the nature of viral control of infected host cells, we are also well positioned to discover vulnerabilities in EBV-associated diseases and characterize new therapeutic interventions in cell-based and pre-clinical animal models.
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