ABSTRACT: Different Epstein-Barr-virus(EBV) variants were found to be associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The type-C variant lacks the BamHI site between the BamHI W1* and I* regions and the type-f variant has an extra BamHI site in the BamHI F fragment. The BNLF1 gene (which encodes the LMP1 protein) from a nude-mouse-passaged CAO strain and from NPC biopsies from Taiwanese patients also exhibits variations resulting in structural and functional differences in the protein. The BZLF1 gene encodes the ZEBRA protein which triggers the EBV lytic cycle. A difference has been observed in 8 amino acids in the ZEBRA sequence in B95-8 (Z95) and P3HR1 (ZP3) cell lines. EBV found in NPC biopsies and peripheral-blood cells from Asians was predominantly of the ZP3 type (72%), while 81% of samples from different EBV-associated diseases and peripheral-blood cells from North Africa or Europe were of the Z95 type. We found that an alanine 206 had been replaced by a serine in the Z95 sequence in 72% of the NPC biopsies from European and North African patients. The Zser206 variant is found in a significantly lower percentage (p < 0.001) of other EBV-positive tissues from individuals in the same region (10-33%). In contrast, a 30-bp deletion is observed near the 3' end of the LMP1 gene in the majority of EBV (86%) from NPC and peripheral-blood cells from Asians, whereas a significantly lower percentage (p < 0.001) of NPC biopsies from European and North African patients (56%) have this deletion, as do lymphocytes from control individuals from the same region (36 and 55% respectively).
International Journal of Cancer 02/1998; 75(4):497-503. · 5.44 Impact Factor