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Isolation and characterization of transformed human T-cell lines infected by Epstein-Barr virus

Isolation and characterization of transformed human T-cell lines infected by Epstein-Barr virus

Blood 89(12): 4521-4530

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a human lymphotropic virus whose main targets have traditionally been described as B lymphocytes and epithelial cells. Here we report the isolation and characterization of largely monoclonal transformed human T-cell lines infected by EBV. The transformed T cells expressed CD2, CD3, and either CD4 or CD8 surface molecules and more generally displayed the phenotype of naive T cells with a complete and clonal rearrangement of the T-cell receptor. None of the cell lines expressed B cells, natural killer, or myeloid antigens or had immunoglobulins genes rearrangement. They grew in the absence of growth factor, however, they all secreted interleukin-2 after mitogenic activation. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis showed the presence of EBV DNA in all these cell lines. Moreover, Southern blot analysis of one of these cell lines shows the presence of circular episomic EBV DNA, and by Northern blot or reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis, only the expression of Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1) and latent membrane protein-1 (LMP-1) genes was detected. Finally, the complete transformed phenotype of this T-cell line was shown by its injection into nude or recombination activating gene 2 (RAG2)-deficient mice that led to the formation of solid tumors.

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Accession: 008925368

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PMID: 9192776

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