Latent Expression of the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-Encoded Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I TAP Inhibitor, BNLF2a, in EBV-Positive Gastric Carcinomas

J Virol. 2015 Oct;89(19):10110-4. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01110-15. Epub 2015 Jul 15.


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) BNLF2a gene product provides immune evasion properties to infected cells through inhibition of transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP)-mediated transport of antigen peptides. Although BNLF2a is considered to be a lytic gene, we demonstrate that it is expressed in nearly half of the EBV-associated gastric carcinomas analyzed. Further, we show that BNLF2a expression is dissociated from lytic gene expression. BNLF2a is therefore expressed in this latency setting, potentially helping protect the infected tumor cells from immunosurveillance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / virology*
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Viral
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / genetics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Stomach Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / virology*
  • Tumor Escape
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / genetics*
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / immunology


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • BNLF21 protein, human herpesvirus 4
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP)

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE45453
  • GEO/GSE70513