An EBV membrane protein expressed in immortalized lymphocytes transforms established rodent cells

Cell. 1985 Dec;43(3 Pt 2):831-40. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(85)90256-9.


Epstein-Barr virus expresses a cytoplasmic and plasma membrane protein (LMP) in latently infected growth transformed lymphocytes. The gene specifying LMP has now been expressed in NIH3T3 and Rat-1 cells. Expression of the gene in these cells resulted in altered cell morphology and some resistance to the growth inhibiting effect of medium containing low serum. In Rat-1 cells, LMP expression often led to loss of contact inhibition and anchorage-independent growth in soft agar. Rat-1 cells expressing LMP were uniformly tumorigenic in nude mice. Thus, LMP is a transforming gene which is likely to account for many aspects of EBV induced cell transformations. This is the first demonstration of a transforming gene in Epstein-Barr virus, a ubiquitous human pathogen associated with neoplasia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / genetics
  • Antigens, Viral / physiology*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Viral*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Fibroblasts / ultrastructure
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / physiology*
  • Lymphocytes / analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / etiology
  • Rats
  • Viral Matrix Proteins*


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