Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes during in vitro Epstein-Barr virus infection.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 15; 112(37):E5199-207.PN
DNA-methylation at CpG islands is one of the prevalent epigenetic alterations regulating gene-expression patterns in mammalian cells. Hypo- or hypermethylation-mediated oncogene activation, or tumor suppressor gene (TSG) silencing mechanisms, widely contribute to the development of multiple human cancers. Furthermore, oncogenic viruses, including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated human cancers, were also shown to be influenced by epigenetic modifications on the viral and cellular genomes in the infected cells. We investigated EBV infection of resting B lymphocytes, which leads to continuously proliferating lymphoblastoid cell lines through examination of the expression pattern of a comprehensive panel of TSGs and the epigenetic modifications, particularly methylation of their regulatory sequences. EBV infection of primary B lymphocytes resulted in global transcriptional repression of TSGs through engagement of hypermethylation. Therefore, CpG methylation profiles of TSGs may be used as a prognostic marker as well as development of potential therapeutic strategies for controlling acute infection and EBV-associated B-cell lymphomas.