Immune activation suppresses initiation of lytic Epstein-Barr virus infection

Division of Infectuous Dieseases, University of Zurich, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
Cellular Microbiology (Impact Factor: 4.92). 09/2007; 9(8):2055-69. DOI: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2007.00937.x
Source: PubMed


Primary infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is asymptomatic in children with immature immune systems but may manifest as infectious mononucleosis, a vigorous immune activation, in adolescents or adults with mature immune systems. Infectious mononucleosis and chronic immune activation are linked to increased risk for EBV-associated lymphoma. Here we show that EBV initiates progressive lytic infection by expression of BZLF-1 and the late lytic genes gp85 and gp350/220 in cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMC) but not in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from EBV-naive adults after EBV infection ex vivo. Lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines in CBMC, used to model a state of minimal immune activation and immature immunity, than in PBMC were associated with lytic EBV infection. Triggering the innate immunity specifically via Toll-like receptor-9 of B cells substantially suppressed BZLF-1 mRNA expression in acute EBV infection ex vivo and in anti-IgG-stimulated chronically latently EBV-infected Akata Burkitt lymphoma cells. This was mediated in part by IL-12 and IFN-gamma. These results identify immune activation as critical factor for the suppression of initiation of lytic EBV infection. We hypothesize that immune activation contributes to EBV-associated lymphomagenesis by suppressing lytic EBV and in turn promotes latent EBV with transformation potential.

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Available from: Michele Bernasconi
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    • "A recent study demonstrated that levels of PAMPs, generated by microbial translocation (sCD14 and LPS) are associated with the risk of NHL (Marks et al., 2013). TLR9 substantially suppresses BZLF-1-mRNA expression by histone modifications in acute EBV infection ex vivo and in latently BL cells in vitro, suggesting that immune activation can also promote EBV-driven lymphomagenesis by suppressing the viral lytic cycle (Ladell et al., 2007). Patients who developed PCNSL expressed more CD80 and CD86 in their B cells and responded to TLR9 agonist better than patients without tumors (Audigé et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human γ-herpes virus which establishes a life-long asymptomatic infection in immunocompetent hosts. In human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infected patients, the impaired immunosurveillance against EBV may favor the development of EBV-related diseases, ranging from lymphoproliferative disorders to B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL). Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has significantly modified the natural course of HIV-1 infection, resulting in decreased HIV-1 plasmaviremia, increased CD4 lymphocytes, and decreased opportunistic infections, indicating a restoration of immune functions. However, the impact of ART appears to be less favorable on EBV-related malignancies than on other AIDS-defining tumors, such as Kaposi's sarcoma, and NHL remains the most common cancer during the ART era. EBV-driven tumors are associated with selective expression of latent oncogenic proteins, but uncontrolled lytic cycle with virus replication and/or reactivation may favor cell transformation, at least in the early phases. Several host's factors may promote EBV reactivation and replication; besides immunodepression, inflammation/chronic immune stimulation may play an important role. Microbial pathogen-associated molecular patterns and endogenous damage-associated molecular patterns, through Toll-like receptors, activate the immune system and may promote EBV reactivation and/or polyclonal expansion of EBV-infected cells. A body of evidence suggests that chronic immune stimulation is a hallmark of HIV-1 pathogenesis and may persist even in ART-treated patients. This review focuses on lymphomagenesis driven by EBV both in the context of the natural history of HIV-1 infection and in ART-treated patients. Understanding the mechanisms involved in the expansion of EBV-infected cells is a premise for the identification of prognostic markers of EBV-associated malignancies.
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    • "In summary, the present findings indicate that TLR7/8 and TLR9 agonists enhance the transformation efficiency of EBV, perhaps through activation of the NF-jB signaling pathway which downregulates the lytic replication of EBV in infected B cells (Ladell et al. 2007). The lower promoting effect of CD40L stimulation on efficiency of EBV transformation could be attributed to activation of different downstream signaling molecules following CD40-CD40L interaction with no beneficial effect to the replication cycle of EBV. "
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    ABSTRACT: Infection of human B cells with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) induces polyclonal activation in almost all infected cells, but a small proportion of infected cells are transformed to immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines. Since B cells are activated also by CD40 ligand (CD40L) and Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists via a similar signaling pathway, it is likely that costimulation through these molecules could result in synergistic enhancement of the transformation efficiency of EBV. In this study, the stimulatory effect of TLR7/8 (R848), TLR9 (CpG) agonists and/or CD40L on transformation efficiency of EBV in normal human B cells was assessed using the limiting dilution assay. Costimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with CpG and R848, but not CD40L, increased significantly the frequency of EBV transformed B cells (p < 0.001). Neither synergistic nor additive effects were observed between TLR agonists and CD40L and also TLR7/8 and TLR9 agonists. Costimulation with R848, CpG and CD40L enhanced the proliferative response of B cells infected with EBV. This effect was more evident when enriched B cells were employed, compared to PBMCs. The promoting effect of TLR agonists stimulation, implies that EBV may take advantage of the genes induced by the TLR stimulation pathway for viral latency and oncogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Cytotechnology
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    • "In recent work, we showed that TLR9-mediated suppression of EBV lytic gene expression is not restricted to latently infected cells but can also be observed in ex vivo acutely infected primary cells (Ladell et al., 2007). This, together with our observation made in this study, indicates that the responsible mechanism is not confined to cells that have undergone malignant transformation but rather may indicate that TLR9-mediated suppression of lytic EBV is likely because of a general mechanism. "
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    ABSTRACT: Endemic Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) is considered to preferentially develop in equatorial Africa because of chronic co-infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum. The interaction and contribution of both pathogens in the oncogenic process are poorly understood. Earlier, we showed that immune activation with a synthetic Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) ligand suppresses the initiation of EBV lytic replication in primary human B cells. In this study we investigate the mechanism involved in the suppression of EBV lytic gene expression in BL cell lines. We show that this suppression is dependent on functional TLR9 and MyD88 signaling but independent of downstream signaling elements, including phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinases and nuclear factor-kappaB. We identified TLR9 triggering resulting in histone modifications to negatively affect the activation of the promoter of EBV's master regulatory lytic gene BZLF1. Finally, we show that P. falciparum hemozoin, a natural TLR9 ligand, suppresses induction of EBV lytic gene expression in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, we provide evidence for a possible interaction between P. falciparum and EBV at the B-cell level and the mechanism involved in suppressing lytic and thereby reinforcing latent EBV that has unique oncogenic potential.
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