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ABSTRACT Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-negative diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma-derived cell lines infected in vitro with a recombinant EBV expressed type II/III latency. High expression of EBNA2 inversely correlated with expression of germinal center (GC)-associated genes, BCL6 and TCL1. The decreased expression of BCL6 appeared to be dose dependent, with almost complete abrogation in highly EBNA2-expressing clones. The role of EBNA2 in negative regulation of these genes was confirmed by transfection and in a hormone-inducible EBNA2 cell system. LMP1 transfection reduced expression of TCL1, but not of BCL6, in DLBCLs. The GC-associated gene repression was at the transcriptional level and CBF1 independent. A decrease in HLA-DR, surface immunoglobulin M, and class II transactivator expression and an increase in CCL3, a BCL6 repression target, was observed in EBNA2-expressing clones. Since BCL6 is indispensable for GC formation and somatic hypermutations (SHM), we suggest that the previously reported lack of SHM seen in EBNA2-expressing GC cells from infectious mononucleosis tonsils could be due to negative regulation of BCL6 by EBNA2. These findings suggest that EBNA2 interferes with the GC phenotype.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Virology


American Society for Microbiology

Publication Date





2274 - 2282