Mimicry of CD40 Signals by Epstein-Barr Virus LMP1 in B Lymphocyte Responses

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Science  08 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5438, pp. 300-303
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5438.300

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The effect of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) on the activation and differentiation of normal B cells was investigated. B cells of transgenic mice expressing LMP1 under the control of immunoglobulin promoter/enhancer displayed enhanced expression of activation antigens and spontaneously proliferated and produced antibody. Humoral immune responses of LMP1 transgenic mice in CD40-deficient or normal backgrounds revealed that LMP1 mimics CD40 signals to induce extrafollicular B cell differentiation but, unlike CD40, blocks germinal center formation. Thus, these specific properties of LMP1 may determine the site of primary B cell infection and the state of infection in the natural course of EBV infection, whereas subsequent loss of LMP1 expression may affect the site of persistent latent infection.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this report.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: kikutani{at}

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