Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 02 April 2002, Vol.99(7), pp.4550-5
Lymphoblastoid cell lines, generated by immortalization of normal B cells by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in vitro, have strong antigen-presenting capacity, are sensitive to EBV-specific cytotoxic T cells, and are highly allostimulatory in mixed lymphocyte culture. By contrast, EBV-positive Burkitt lymphoma (BL) cells are poor antigen presenters, are not recognized by EBV-specific cytotoxic T cells, and are poorly allostimulatory, which raises the question of whether immunological pressure exerted during BL pathogenesis in vivo has selected for a 'nonimmunogenic' tumor phenotype. The present work addresses this question by examining the immunogenicity/antigenicity of cell lines, generated by conversion of a conditionally immortalized lymphoblastoid cell line to permanent growth independent of EBV-latent proteins by introduction of a constitutively active or tetracycline-regulated c-myc gene (A1 and P493-6 cells, respectively). Compared with its parental lymphoblastoid cell line, A1 cells showed many of the features of the nonimmunogenic BL phenotype, namely poor allostimulatory activity, poor antigen-presenting function associated with impaired proteasomal activity, down-regulation of peptide transporter, reduced HLA class I expression, and an inability to present endogenously expressed EBV-latent proteins to cytotoxic T cells. P493-6 cells, when grown in the presence of estrogen with the exogenous c-myc gene switched off, were strongly immunogenic. The cells had lost their immunogenic potential, however, when grown on a c-myc-driven proliferation program in the absence of estrogen. Deregulation of c-myc, a step central to the development of uncontrolled BL cell growth in vivo, can thus impose a nonimmunogenic phenotype on proliferating human B cells in the absence of any immune pressure.
B-Lymphocytes -- Immunology ; Herpesvirus 4, Human -- Immunology ; Proto-Oncogene Proteins C-Myc -- Physiology
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