Characterization of Epstein-Barr virus infection in a human signet ring cell gastric carcinoma cell line, HSC-39.Microbes Infect 2004; 6(5):429-39MI
In order to study the mechanism of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in gastric carcinoma cells, we characterized the EBV infection in signet ring cell line HSC-39, derived from a human gastric carcinoma. HSC-39 cells were highly susceptible to cell-free EBV infection by Akata and P3HR-1 EBV strains. EBV nuclear antigen (EBNA) and EBV-encoded small RNA (EBER) were detected in the infected cells. Akata and P3HR-1 EBV-infected cell clones were isolated by a limiting dilution technique. The Akata and P3HR-1 EBV-infected clones differed from each other in morphology and growth patterns. Akata EBV-infected clones had lower growth rates than did P3HR-1 EBV-infected clones in both liquid and soft agar mediums. Both the infected HSC-39 cells and the clones expressed EBNA1 and EBER, but did not express EBNA2, latent membrane protein (LMP) 1 and LMP2A. The Q promoter (p), but not the Cp/Wp for EBNA transcription, was active in the infected HSC-39 cells and all clones. No lytic infection was observed in either infected parental cells or any clones. Uninfected HSC-39 cells did not express a principal EBV receptor CD21; however, Akata but not P3HR-1 EBV-infected clones expressed low levels of CD21 mRNA. These results demonstrate that the cellular phenotypes of HSC-39 cells are altered by EBV infection in strain-specific manner. We propose the HSC-39 cell line as a model target for the study of the mechanism and significance of EBV infection in gastric carcinoma.