NF-κB directly mediates epigenetic deregulation of common microRNAs in Epstein-Barr virus-mediated transformation of B-cells and in lymphomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Roser Vento-Tormo
  • Javier Rodríguez-Ubreva
  • Lorena Di Lisio
  • Abul B M M K Islam
  • Jose M Urquiza
  • Henar Hernando
  • Nuria López-Bigas
  • Nerea Martínez
  • Santiago Montes-Moreno
  • Miguel A Piris
  • Esteban Ballestar

External organisations

  • Chromatin and Disease Group, Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Programme (PEBC), Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), 08908 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have negative effects on gene expression and are major players in cell function in normal and pathological conditions. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection of resting B lymphocytes results in their growth transformation and associates with different B cell lymphomas. EBV-mediated B cell transformation involves large changes in gene expression, including cellular miRNAs. We performed miRNA expression analysis in growth transformation of EBV-infected B cells. We observed predominant downregulation of miRNAs and upregulation of a few miRNAs. We observed similar profiles of miRNA expression in B cells stimulated with CD40L/IL-4, and those infected with EBNA-2- and LMP-1-deficient EBV particles, suggesting the implication of the NF-kB pathway, common to all four situations. In fact, the NF-kB subunit p65 associates with the transcription start site (TSS) of both upregulated and downregulated miRNAs following EBV infection This occurs together with changes at histone H3K27me3 and histone H3K4me3. Inhibition of the NF-kB pathway impairs changes in miRNA expression, NF-kB binding and changes at the above histone modifications near the TSS of these miRNA genes. Changes in expression of these miRNAs also occurred in diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCL), which are strongly NF-kB dependent. Our results highlight the relevance of the NF-kB pathway in epigenetically mediated miRNA control in B cell transformation and DLBCL.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11025-11039
Number of pages15
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number17
Early online date8 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2014


  • B-Lymphocytes, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Transformation, Viral, Cells, Cultured, Epigenesis, Genetic, Herpesvirus 4, Human, Humans, Lymphoma, B-Cell, MicroRNAs, NF-kappa B, Transcription, Genetic, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't