Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein-1 (LMP1) signalling is distinct from CD40 and involves physical cooperation of its two C-terminus functional regions

Oncogene. 1998 Nov 5;17(18):2383-92. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1202144.


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encoded Latent Membrane Protein-1 (LMP1) mimics a constitutively active receptor molecule, and has been shown to activate NF-kappaB and the MAPK and JNK pathways. Two regions within the cytosolic domain of LMP1 have been found to effect cell signalling. One of these, the carboxy-terminal activation region-1 (CTAR1), binds members of the TRAF family of proteins, and the other (CTAR2) binds TRADD, suggesting that LMP1 transduces signals similarly to the Tumour Necrosis Factor Receptor family of receptors. The ability to bind TRAFs, to activate NF-kappaB and the JNK pathway, to upregulate cellular genes such as CD54 (ICAM-1 adhesion molecule), and to affect cell growth and apoptosis has led to the suggestion that LMP1 signalling is similar to, or even identical to CD40. However, we now show that while ligand-induced CD40 signalling is impaired in the Jurkat T cell line, LMP1 was fully functional; therefore demonstrating that LMP1 and CD40 signalling differ. Mutated LMP1 genes, in which one or other of the CTAR1 and CTAR2 domains was non-functional, behaved more like CD40 in being unable to upregulate the CD54 cell surface marker in Jurkat cells. However, the CTAR1 domain of LMP1, which shared a TRAF-binding sequence motif with CD40, differed from CD40 in being unable to activate NF-kappaB in Jurkat. Cotransfection experiments with LMP1 mutants demonstrated that CTAR1 can cooperative with CTAR2 on separate LMP1 molecules, provided that they exist within the same oligomeric complex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD40 Antigens / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Jurkat Cells
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transfection
  • Up-Regulation
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / physiology*


  • CD40 Antigens
  • EBV-associated membrane antigen, Epstein-Barr virus
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1