Cancer Res Treat.  2011 Dec;43(4):250-254.

Expression of BamHI-A Rightward Transcripts in Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Gastric Cancers

  • 1Department of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


About 10% of all gastric cancers (GCs) are Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated. However, the oncogene of EBV in gastric carcinogenesis has not yet been established. In the present study, we investigated the virus-derived transcripts in the EBV-infected GC cell line to explore the viral oncogene of EBV-positive GCs.
We used the SNU719 cell line, a naturally derived EBV-infected GC cell line. The individual expressed sequence tags from the cDNA libraries of SNU719 were searched against the mRNA subset extracted from the GenBank data base. Sequence reaction was carried out for the EBV-associated clones. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was performed after cells were partitioned into nuclear and cytoplasmic fractions.
Using bioinformatic tools, we selected 13 EBV-associated clones from cDNA libraries of SNU719. By sequencing analysis, we revealed that they were all associated with RPMS1, one of the BamHI-A rightward transcripts (BART) of EBV. Some BART cDNAs such as RPMS1 and A73 are known to be translated into protein in vitro, and have been shown to have some biochemical functions relevant to tumorigenesis. But, presently, the BART transcripts were expressed only in the nucleus and not in the cytoplasm, arguing against their role as messenger RNAs. Some other BART transcripts expressed in GCs (BARF0, CST, vIL, BARF1, BLLF1, and BcLF1) were also extensively detected in the nucleus.
BART transcripts are the predominant viral transcripts expressed in EBV-associated GCs, and they are located only in the nucleus. Therefore, it seems less likely that BART transcripts produce functional proteins to play a role in carcinogenesis of EBV-associated GCs.


Stomach neoplasms; Epstein-Barr virus; Oncogenes; RPMS protein
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