STAT6 signaling pathway activated by the cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 induces expression of the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded protein LMP-1 in absence of EBNA-2: implications for the type II EBV latent gene expression in Hodgkin lymphoma.Blood. 2011 Jan 06; 117(1):165-74.Blood
In line with the B-lymphotropic nature of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the virus is present in several types of B-cell lymphomas. EBV expresses a different set of latent genes in the associated tumors, such as EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1) and latent membrane proteins (LMPs; type II latency) in classical Hodgkin lymphomas (HLs). We previously reported that exposure of in vitro EBV-converted, HL-derived cell line KMH2-EBV to CD40-ligand and interleukin-4 (IL-4) induced the expression of LMP-1. Here, we show that exposure to IL-4 or IL-13 alone induced LMP-1 in the absence of EBNA-2. Induction of LMP-1 by IL-4 and IL-13 was mediated by the signal transducer signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) and a newly defined high-affinity STAT6-binding site in the LMP-1 promoter. IL-4 induced LMP-1 also in Burkitt lymphoma-derived lines and in tonsillar B cells infected with the EBNA-2-deficient EBV strain P3HR-1. Furthermore, coculture of EBV-carrying Burkitt lymphoma cells with activated CD4(+) T cells resulted in the induction of LMP-1 in the absence of EBNA-2. Because Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg cells are known to secrete IL-13, to have constitutively activated STAT6, and to be closely surrounded by CD4(+) T cells, these mechanisms may be involved in the expression of LMP-1 in EBV-positive chronic HLs.