1887

Abstract

Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is associated with several malignancies. Specific EBV gene variants, e.g. the HI configuration, a C-terminal region 30 bp deletion in the latent membrane protein-1 (LMP1) gene () and the loss of an I site in LMP1 (I), are found in Chinese cases of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), suggesting that EBV sequence variation may be involved in oncogenesis. In order to understand better the epidemiology of these EBV variants, they were studied in virus isolates from EBV-positive Chinese cases of Hodgkin’s disease (HD; =71) and donor throat washings from healthy Chinese. Sequencing was performed of 15 representative EBV isolates, including the first analysis of the LMP1 promoter in Asian wild-type EBV isolates. The following observations were made. (i) Three EBV LMP1 variants were identified, designated Chinese groups (CG) 1–3. In both EBV-associated HD and in healthy Chinese, CG1-like viruses showing- and I were predominant. (ii) CG1viruses were distinct from European and African variants, suggesting that this profile is useful for epidemiological studies. (iii) Specific patterns of mutations were present in the LMP1 promoter in both CG1 and CG2. (iv) The HI variant was not found in Chinese HD, in contrast to Chinese NPC and European HD. This study confirms that EBV isolates in Chinese HD and other tumours differ from those reported in Western cases. However, this reflects the predominant virus strain present in the healthy Chinese population, suggesting that these are geographically restricted polymorphisms rather than tumour-specific strains.

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2001-05-01
2019-12-11
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