Signature amino acid changes in latent membrane protein 1 distinguish Epstein-Barr virus strains

Virology. 1999 Aug 15;261(1):79-95. doi: 10.1006/viro.1999.9855.


Sequence variations in the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein 1 gene have been described in numerous EBV-associated tumors with some of these variations, most notably a 30-base pair deletion in the cytoplasmic carboxyl-terminal domain, suggested as associated with an increase in tumorigenicity. In this study, EBV DNA sequence was determined from 92 tissue specimens or cell lines, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma, oral hairy leukoplakia, post-transplant lymphoma, post-transplant without pathology, mononucleosis, Burkitt's lymphoma, parotid tumor, and normal from distinct geographical regions. The amino- and carboxyl-terminal sequences and, in some cases, the full-length sequences of latent membrane protein 1 were determined. Characteristic sequence patterns distinguished strains, with the carboxyl-terminal sequence being the most informative in distinguishing among the strains. Phylogenetic relationships between strains were determined, as were signature amino acid changes that discriminate between them. A correlation between strain and disease or strain and geographic location was not detected. The sequence variation and signature sequences identified at least seven distinct strains, as well as hybrid strains that apparently result from recombination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Genetic Variation
  • Herpesviridae Infections / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / classification*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / virology
  • Neoplasms / virology
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Species Specificity
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology*
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / chemistry*
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / genetics*


  • EBV-associated membrane antigen, Epstein-Barr virus
  • Viral Matrix Proteins