Lack of expression of the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) gene products, EBERs, EBNA1, LMP1, and LMP2A, in breast cancer cells

Lab Invest. 2002 Sep;82(9):1193-9. doi: 10.1097/01.lab.0000029150.90532.24.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a gamma herpesvirus, has been associated with a variety of human malignancies such as Burkitt's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, NPC, and gastric cancer. A controversy regarding the association of EBV with breast cancers has recently been reported in the literature. These reports have mainly used the DNA detection techniques of polymerase chain reaction and Southern blot hybridization, with the inherent lacunae associated with these techniques for signal localization. Our group has studied EBV association with breast cancer by using in situ hybridization for detecting nonpolyadenylated EBV RNA (EBERs), along with using protein localization technique of immunohistochemistry, studying the EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) and the latent membrane proteins (LMP1 and LMP2A). This is the first article analyzing the expression of LMP2A in breast cancer cells. In all of our 43 female breast cancer cases under study, we failed to detect expression of any of the EBV viral gene products tested.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / virology*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens / analysis*
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / analysis*


  • EBV-associated membrane antigen, Epstein-Barr virus
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens
  • RNA, Viral
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • EBV-encoded nuclear antigen 1