Role of Latent Membrane Protein 1 of EBV? Its Mechanism in the Pathogenesis of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

  • Chang, Yu-Sun (PI)

Project: Ministry of Health and WelfareMinistry of Health and Welfare Commission Research

Project Details


Serological and molecular evidence strongly suggests that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). However, it is not understood by which mechanism EBV contributes to the development of NPC. Therefore, more information, particularly on the interaction between EBV gene products with cellular factors, is required to conclusively assess the significance of the presently available data for the pathogenesis of NPC. Previously we have identified a strain of EBV predominantly present in NPC tumor biopsies in Taiwan. Structural differences between B-cell-derived LMP 1 gene (BLMP 1) and NPC-derived LMP 1 (NLMP 1) gene have been described and it has been suggested that the NLMP 1 variant may be more oncogenic. Our recent studies indicated that a recurrent 30-bp deletion found in the 3?? end of the gene plays an important role in the transformation of BALB/c3T3 cells and induction of tumors in nude mice. LMP 1 is a transmembrane protein that has been reported to interact with the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR)-associated protein. This association has been implied as the possible involvement of LMP 1 in signal transduction pathway similar to TNFR family. Our preliminary data using two LMP 1 (B and N) genes and their chimeric constructs showed that the NF-kB activity was activated specifically by LMP 1 regardless of its origin. Thus, the activation of NF-kB activity is independent of the transformation ability of these two proteins. In this 3-year proposal, we plan to ask which cellular factor interacts with the NLMP 1, but not with the BLMP 1. To do so, we will take advantage of the yeast two-hybrid system, using LMP 1 constructs as the DNA binding domain and cDNA libraries derived from BALB/c3T3 cells and NPC biopsies as the activation domain. By this way, we hope to identify the cellular factor that is potentially important for NLMP 1 transforming ability. The biological function of this cellular factor will be further eva luated in the knockout mice study. To further examine the role of NLMP 1 or the effect of 30-bp deletion in cellular transformation, we plan to establish a transgenic mouse model that will express either BLMP 1 or NLMP 1 gene. The genomic constructs of both variant genes which were used for our BALB/c3T3 transformation study will be used to generate transgenic mcie. These transgenic mice will be able to tell us if N-LMP 1 behaves differently from B-LMP1 in this in vivo model. The cellular factor identified in the yeast two-hybrid system will be used to examine its expression in the tissue of transgenic mice. Furthermore, the knockout mice with defects in the cellular factor gene described above will also be used to generate NLMP 1 transgenic mice. The above experiments are very important for understanding of the mechanism of LMP1 biological function, specifically, transformation. The transgenic mice will provide us with an in vivo model for studying the role of NLMP 1 in the pathogenesis of NPC.

Project IDs

Project ID:PG9004-0125
External Project ID:NHRI-EX90-8703SL
Effective start/end date01/01/0131/12/01


  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • EBV
  • LMP 1


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