Epstein-Barr virus-encoded LMP1 induces a hyperproliferative and inflammatory gene expression programme in cultured keratinocytes.

Mhairi Morris, Christopher Dawson, Wenbin Wei, John O'Neil, SE Stewart, Junying Jia, Andrew Bell, Lawrence Young, John Arrand

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30 Citations (Scopus)


SCC12F cells are a line of keratinocytes that retain the capacity for terminal differentiation in vitro. We showed previously that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded oncogene latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) altered SCC12F morphology in vitro, downregulated cell-cell-adhesion molecule expression and promoted cell motility. In organotypic raft culture, LMP1-expressing cells failed to stratify and formed poorly organized structures which displayed impaired terminal differentiation. To understand better the mechanism(s) by which LMP1 induces these effects, we generated SCC12F cells in which LMP1 expression is inducible. Following induction, these cells exhibited phenotypic changes similar to those observed previously and allowed us to investigate the effects of LMP1 expression on cellular pathways associated with growth, differentiation and morphology. Using microarrays and a number of confirmatory techniques, we identified sets of differentially expressed genes that are characteristically expressed in inflammatory and hyperproliferative epidermis, including chemokines, cytokines and their receptors, growth factors involved in promoting epithelial cell motility and proliferation and signalling molecules that regulate actin filament reorganization and cell movement. Among the genes whose expression was differentially induced significantly by LMP1, the induction of IL-1beta and IL-1alpha was of particular interest, as many of the LMP1-regulated genes identified are established targets of these cytokines. Our findings suggest that alterations in the IL-1 signalling network may be responsible for many of the changes in host-cell gene expression induced in response to LMP1. Identification of these LMP1-regulated genes helps to define the mechanism(s) by which this oncoprotein influences cellular pathways that regulate terminal differentiation, cell motility and inflammation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2806-20
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue numberPt 11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008


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