Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 2 specifically induces expression of the B-cell activation antigen CD23

F. Wang, C. D. Gregory, M. Rowe, A. B. Rickinson, M. Birkenbach, H. Kikutani, T. Kishimoto, E. Kieff

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347 Scopus citations


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection of EBV-negative Burkitt lymphoma (BL) cells induces some changes similar to those seen in normal B lymphocytes that have been growth transformed by EBV. The role of individual EBV genes in this process was evaluated by introducing each of the viral genes that are normally expressed in EBV growth-transformed and latently infected lymphoblasts into an EBV-negative BL cell line, using recombinant retrovirus-mediated transfer. Clones of cells were derived that stably express the EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1), EBNA-2, EBNA-3, EBNA-leader protein, or EBV latent membrane protein (LMP). These were compared with control clones infected with the retrovirus vector. All 10 clones converted to EBNA-2 expression differed from control clones or clones expressing other EBV proteins by growth in tight clumps and by markedly increased expression of one particular surface marker of B-cell activation, CD23. Other activation antigens were unaffected by EBNA-2 expression, as were markers already expressed on the parent BL cell line, including BL markers (cALLA and BLA), proliferation markers (transferrin receptor and BK19.9), and cell adhesion-related molecules (LFA-1 and LFA-3). Increased CD23 expression in cells expressing EBNA-2 was apparent from monoclonal anti-CD23 antibody binding to the cell surface, from immunoprecipitation of the 45-kDa and 90-kDa CD23 proteins with monoclonal antibody, and from RNA blots probed with labeled CD23 DNA. The results indicate that EBNA-2 is a specific direct or indirect trans-activator of CD23. This establishes a link between an EBV gene and cell gene expression. Since CD23 has been implicated in the transduction of B-cell growth signals, its specific induction by EBNA-2 could be important in EBV induction of B-lymphocyte transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3452-3456
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


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