A body cavity lymphoma-derived cell line (BC1), known to carry both Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpes virus type 8 (HHV-8; or Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, KSHV), was analysed for the expression of EBV-encoded, growth transformation-associated antigens and cellular phenotype by immunofluorescence staining, Western blotting, RT-PCR and flow cytometry. A similar phenotypic analysis was also performed on another body cavity lymphoma line, BCBL1, that is singly infected with HHV-8. Phenotypically, the two lines were closely similar. Although both lines are known to carry rearranged immunoglobulin genes, they were mostly negative for B-cell surface markers. Both expressed the HHV-8-encoded nuclear antigen (LNA1). Similarly to Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen type 1 (EBNA1), LNA1 was associated with the chromatin in interphase nuclei and the mitotic chromosomes in metaphase. It accumulated in a few well-circumscribed nuclear bodies that did not co-localize with EBNA1. BC1 cells expressed EBNA1, LMP2A and EBV-encoded small RNAs but not EBNA2-6, LMP1 and LMP2B. They were thus similar to type I Burkitt's lymphoma cells and latently infected peripheral B-cells. Analysis of the splicing pattern of the EBNA1-encoding message by RT-PCR showed that BC1 cells used the QUK but not the YUK splice, indicating that the mRNA was initiated from Qp and not from Cp or Wp.


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