Detection of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in hepatocellular carcinoma tissue: a novel EBV latency characterized by the absence of EBV-encoded small RNA expression.Virology. 1999 Apr 10; 256(2):196-202.V
In this study, we investigated the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in liver tissue from 35 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). EBV DNA was detected in 13 patients (37%) by Southern blot hybridization. In 10 of these patients, EBV DNA was present in tumor tissue only, whereas in the other 3, it was detected in both tumor and nontumor tissues. The quantity of EBV DNA detected was equivalent to 1-10 viral DNA molecules/100 cells. EBV-determined nuclear antigen was detected in 7-13% of the carcinoma cells in three tumor tissue samples that contained approximately one copy of the EBV genome/10 cells. A single terminal fragment of EBV DNA was identified in these tissues, suggesting that the EBV-infected cells in HCC represent clonal proliferation. Western blotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses demonstrated that these three tumor tissue specimens were positive for EBV-determined nuclear antigen 1 and BamHI A transcripts but were negative for the other latent EBV products, including EBV-encoded small RNA. The results indicated that there is a high EBV load in HCC tissue and that all of the HCC tissue examined showed a novel pattern of EBV latency characterized by absence of EBV-encoded small RNA expression.