Sequence variation analysis of Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 gene in the virus associated lymphomas of Northern China

Lingling Sun, Zhenzhen Zhao, Song Liu, Xia Liu, Zhifu Sun, Bing Luo

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5 Scopus citations


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) is the only viral protein expressed in all EBV-positive tumors as it is essential for the maintenance, replication and transcription of the virus genome. According to the polymorphism of residue 487 in EBNA1 gene, EBV isolates can be classified into five subtypes: P-ala, P-thr, V-val, V-leu and V-pro. Whether these EBNA1 subtypes contribute to different tissue tropism of EBV and are consequently associated with certain malignancies remain to be determined. To elucidate the relationship, one hundred and ten EBV-positive lymphoma tissues of different types from Northern China, a non-NPC endemic area, were tested for the five subtypes by nested-PCR and DNA sequencing. In addition, EBV type 1 and type 2 classification was typed by using standard PCR assays across type-specific regions of the EBNA3C genes. Four EBNA1 subtypes were identified: V-val (68.2%, 75/110), P-thrV (15.5%, 17/110), V-leuV (3.6%, 4/110) and P-ala (10.9%, 12/110). The distribution of the EBNA1 subtypes in the four lymphoma groups was not significantly different (p = 0.075), neither was that of the EBV type 1/type 2 (p = 0.089). Compared with the previous data of gastric carcinoma (GC), nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and throat washing (TW) from healthy donors, the distribution of EBNA1 subtypes in lymphoma differed significantly (p = 0.016), with a little higher frequency of Pala subtype. The EBV type distribution between lymphoma and the other three groups was significantly different (p = 0.000, p = 0.000, p = 0.001, respectively). The proportion of type 1 and type 2 mixed infections was higher in lymphoma than that in GC, NPC and TW. In lymphomas, the distribution of EBNA1 subtypes in the three EBV types was not significantly different (p = 0.546). These data suggested that the variation patterns of EBNA1 gene may be geographic-associated rather than tumor-specific and the role of EBNA1 gene variations in tumorigenesis needs more extensive and deep explorations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0140529
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 13 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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