1887

Abstract

Full-length sequences of the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) gene for latent membrane protein (LMP)-1 from 22 nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) biopsy specimens and 18 non-neoplastic counterparts (NPI) were determined. Relative to the B95-8 strain, the amino acid sequences of the toxic-signal and transformation domains were changed variably in NPC and NPI specimens; in contrast, no change was observed in the NF-B (nuclear factor B) activation domain. HLA typing revealed that 47 % of NPC and 31 % of NPI specimens were HLA A2-positive. A major A2-restricted epitope within LMP-1 (residues 125–133) was analysed. At residue 126, a change of L→F was detected in 91 % (20/22) of NPC and 67 % (12/18) of NPI specimens. In addition, a deletion at residue 126 was detected in one NPC sample from Taiwan. At residue 129, a change of M→I was observed in all samples, regardless of whether they were NPC or NPI. The changes in this peptide between NPC and NPI specimens, including mutation and deletion, are statistically significant (<0·05). A recent report indicated that this variant sequence is recognized poorly by epitope-specific T cells. Genotyping results indicated that 96 % of NPC and 67 % of NPI samples carried a type A virus. By scanning the entire sequence of LMP-1, eight distinct patterns were identified. Detailed examination of these patterns revealed that type A strains are more prevalent in NPC than in NPI specimens and are marked by the loss of an I site, the presence of a 30 bp deletion and the presence of a mutated, A2-restricted, T cell target epitope sequence. These results suggest that an EBV strain carrying an HLA A2-restricted ‘epitope-loss variant’ of LMP-1 is prevalent in NPC in southern China and Taiwan.

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2004-07-01
2021-03-09
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