[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several reports have shown that the EBV-encoded BARF1 gene has oncogenic activity. We have recently reported that BARF1 is expressed as a latent gene in most nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPC), suggesting that BARF1 may have an important role in NPC oncogenesis. However, we found that when the NPC-derived EBV-negative cell lines, HONE-1 and CNE-1, were infected with EBV in vitro, BARF1 was not expressed, although the expression of other latent genes was identical to that of NPC tumors. Therefore, we generated a recombinant EBV (rEBV) carrying the BARF1 gene (BARF1-rEBV) under the SV40 promoter to reconstitute the NPC-type EBV infection. NPC-derived EBV-negative cell lines were stably infected with either a wild-type rEBV (wild-rEBV) or BARF1-rEBV. The resultant BARF1-rEBV-infected NPC cell clones represented NPC-type EBV expression, and BARF1 expression was similar to that observed in NPC tissues. BARF1-rEBV-infected cell clones grew to a higher cell density and were more resistant to apoptosis than wild-rEBV-infected counterparts. BARF1 protein was quickly secreted into the culture medium, and secreted BARF1 contributed to the increase of cell densities in NPC cells, but it had no effect on resistance to apoptosis. Furthermore, BARF1-rEBV-infected cell clones became tumorigenic in nude mice. These results suggest that BARF1 plays an important role in NPC development.
Cancer Research 02/2008; 68(4-68):11030-6. · 8.65 Impact Factor