Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an epithelial squamous cell carcinoma on the mucosal lining of the nasopharynx. The etiology of NPC remains elusive despite many reported studies. Most studies employ a single platform approach, neglecting the cumulative influence of both the genome and transcriptome toward NPC development. We aim to employ an integrated pathway approach to identify dysregulated pathways linked to NPC. Our approach combines imputation NPC GWAS data from a Malaysian cohort as well as published expression data GSE12452 from both NPC and non-NPC nasopharynx tissues. Pathway association for GWAS data was performed using MAGENTA while for expression data, GSA-SNP was used with gene p values derived from differential expression values from GEO2R. Our study identified NPC association in the gene ontology (GO) axonemal dynein complex pathway (pGWAS-GSEA = 1.98 × 10(-2) ; pExpr-GSEA = 1.27 × 10(-24) ; pBonf-Combined = 4.15 × 10(-21) ). This association was replicated in a separate cohort using gene expression data from NPC and non-NPC nasopharynx tissues (pAmpliSeq-GSEA = 6.56 × 10(-4) ). Loss of function in the axonemal dynein complex causes impaired cilia function, leading to poor mucociliary clearance and subsequently upper or lower respiratory tract infection, the former of which includes the nasopharynx. Our approach illustrates the potential use of integrated pathway analysis in detecting gene sets involved in the development of NPC in the Malaysian cohort.
Despite the potential cancer preventive effects of flavonoids and lignans, their ability to reduce pancreatic cancer risk has not been demonstrated in epidemiological studies. Our aim was to examine the association between dietary intakes of flavonoids and lignans and pancreatic cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. A total of 865 exocrine pancreatic cancer cases occurred after 11.3 years of follow-up of 477,309 cohort members. Dietary flavonoid and lignan intake was estimated through validated dietary questionnaires and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Phenol Explorer databases. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using age, sex and center-stratified Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for energy intake, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol and diabetes status. Our results showed that neither overall dietary intake of flavonoids nor of lignans were associated with pancreatic cancer risk (multivariable-adjusted HR for a doubling of intake = 1.03, 95% CI: 0.95-1.11 and 1.02; 95% CI: 0.89-1.17, respectively). Statistically significant associations were also not observed by flavonoid subclasses. An inverse association between intake of flavanones and pancreatic cancer risk was apparent, without reaching statistical significance, in microscopically confirmed cases (HR for a doubling of intake = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.91-1.00). In conclusion, we did not observe an association between intake of flavonoids, flavonoid subclasses or lignans and pancreatic cancer risk in the EPIC cohort.
Previous genome-wide association studies among women of European ancestry identified two independent breast cancer susceptibility loci represented by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs13281615 and rs11780156 at 8q24. A fine-mapping study across 2.06 Mb (chr8:127,561,724-129,624,067, hg19) in 55,540 breast cancer cases and 51,168 controls within the Breast Cancer Association Consortium was conducted. Three additional independent association signals in women of European ancestry, represented by rs35961416 (OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.93-0.97, conditional p = 5.8 × 10(-6) ), rs7815245 (OR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.91-0.96, conditional p = 1.1 × 10(-6) ) and rs2033101 (OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 1.02-1.07, conditional p = 1.1 × 10(-4) ) were found. Integrative analysis using functional genomic data from the Roadmap Epigenomics, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project, the Cancer Genome Atlas and other public resources implied that SNPs rs7815245 in Signal 3, and rs1121948 in Signal 5 (in linkage disequilibrium with rs11780156, r(2) = 0.77), were putatively functional variants for two of the five independent association signals. The results highlighted multiple 8q24 variants associated with breast cancer susceptibility in women of European ancestry.
Acrylamide, classified in 1994 by IARC as "probably carcinogenic to humans," was discovered in 2002 in some heat-treated, carbohydrate-rich foods. Four prospective studies have evaluated the association between dietary acrylamide intake and endometrial cancer (EC) risk with inconsistent results. The purpose of this nested case-control study, based on the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, was to evaluate, for the first time, the association between hemoglobin adducts of acrylamide (HbAA) and glycidamide (HbGA) and the risk of developing EC in non-smoking postmenopausal women. Hemoglobin adducts were measured in red blood cells by HPLC/MS/MS. Four exposure variables were evaluated: HbAA, HbGA, their sum (HbAA+HbGA), and their ratio (HbGA/HbAA). The association between hemoglobin adducts and EC was evaluated using unconditional multivariable logistic regression models, and included 383 EC cases (171 were type-I EC), and 385 controls. Exposure variables were analyzed in quintiles based on control distributions. None of the biomarker variables had an effect on overall EC (HRHbAA;Q5vsQ1 : 0.84, 95%CI: 0.49-1.48; HRHbGA;Q5vsQ1 : 0.94, 95%CI: 0.54-1.63) or type-I EC risk. Additionally, none of the subgroups investigated (BMI
Perturbations in levels of amino acids (AA) and their derivatives are observed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Yet, it is unclear whether these alterations precede or are a consequence of the disease, nor whether they pertain to anatomically related cancers of the intrahepatic bile duct (IHBC), and gallbladder and extrahepatic biliary tract (GBTC). Circulating standard AA, biogenic amines and hexoses were measured (Biocrates AbsoluteIDQ-p180Kit) in a case-control study nested within a large prospective cohort (147 HCC, 43 IHBC and 134 GBTC cases). Liver function and hepatitis status biomarkers were determined separately. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (OR; 95%CI) for log-transformed standardised (mean = 0, SD = 1) serum metabolite levels and relevant ratios in relation to HCC, IHBC or GBTC risk. Fourteen metabolites were significantly associated with HCC risk, of which seven metabolites and four ratios were the strongest predictors in continuous models. Leucine, lysine, glutamine and the ratio of branched chain to aromatic AA (Fischer's ratio) were inversely, while phenylalanine, tyrosine and their ratio, glutamate, glutamate/glutamine ratio, kynurenine and its ratio to tryptophan were positively associated with HCC risk. Confounding by hepatitis status and liver enzyme levels was observed. For the other cancers no significant associations were observed. In conclusion, imbalances of specific AA and biogenic amines may be involved in HCC development.
Incidence rates of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (TC) have increased in many countries. Adiposity and dietary risk factors may play a role, but little is known on the influence of energy intake and macronutrient composition. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between TC and the intake of energy, macronutrients, glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. The study included 477,274 middle-age participants (70.2% women) from ten European countries. Dietary data were collected using country-specific validated dietary questionnaires. Total carbohydrates, proteins, fats, saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), starch, sugar, and fiber were computed as g/1,000 kcal. Multivariable Cox regression was used to calculate multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) by intake quartile (Q). After a mean follow-up time of 11 years, differentiated TC was diagnosed in 556 participants (90% women). Overall, we found significant associations only with total energy (HRQ4 vs .Q1 , 1.29; 95% CI, 1.00-1.68) and PUFA intakes (HRQ4 vs .Q1 , 0.74; 95% CI, 0.57-0.95). However, the associations with starch and sugar intake and GI were significantly heterogeneous across body mass index (BMI) groups, i.e., positive associations with starch and GI were found in participants with a BMI ≥ 25 and with sugar intake in those with BMI
Women with a diagnosis of breast cancer are at increased risk of second primary cancers, and the identification of risk factors for the latter may have clinical implications. We have followed-up for 11 years 10,045 women with invasive breast cancer from a European cohort, and identified 492 second primary cancers, including 140 contralateral breast cancers. Expected and observed cases and Standardized Incidence Ratios (SIR) were estimated using Aalen-Johansen Markovian methods. Information on various risk factors was obtained from detailed questionnaires and anthropometric measurements. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the role of risk factors. Women with breast cancer had a 30% excess risk for second malignancies (95% confidence interval-CI 18-42) after excluding contralateral breast cancers. Risk was particularly elevated for colorectal cancer (SIR, 1.71, 95% CI 1.43-2.00), lymphoma (SIR 1.80, 95% CI 1.31-2.40), melanoma (2.12; 1.63-2.70), endometrium (2.18; 1.75-2.70) and kidney cancers (2.40; 1.57-3.52). Risk of second malignancies was positively associated with age at first cancer, body mass index and smoking status, while it was inversely associated with education, post-menopausal status and a history of full-term pregnancy. We describe in a large cohort of women with breast cancer a 30% excess of second primaries. Among risk factors for breast cancer, a history of full-term pregnancy was inversely associated with the risk of second primary cancer.
General obesity, as reflected by BMI, is an established risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), a suspected risk factor for gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCC) and appears unrelated to gastric non-cardia adenocarcinoma (GNCC). How abdominal obesity, as commonly measured by waist circumference (WC), relates to these cancers remains largely unexplored. Using measured anthropometric data from 391,456 individuals from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study and 11 years of follow-up, we comprehensively assessed the association of anthropometric measures with risk of EAC, GCC and GNCC using multivariable proportional hazards regression. One hundred twenty-four incident EAC, 193 GCC and 224 GNCC were accrued. After mutual adjustment, BMI was unrelated to EAC, while WC showed a strong positive association (highest vs. lowest quintile HR = 1.19; 95% CI, 0.63-2.22 and HR = 3.76; 1.72-8.22, respectively). Hip circumference (HC) was inversely related to EAC after controlling for WC, while WC remained positively associated (HR = 0.35; 0.18-0.68, and HR=4.10; 1.94-8.63, respectively). BMI was not associated with GCC or GNCC. WC was related to higher risks of GCC after adjustment for BMI and more strongly after adjustment for HC (highest vs. lowest quintile HR = 1.91; 1.09-3.37, and HR = 2.23; 1.28-3.90, respectively). Our study demonstrates that abdominal, rather than general, obesity is an indisputable risk factor for EAC and also provides evidence for a protective effect of gluteofemoral (subcutaneous) adipose tissue in EAC. Our study further shows that general obesity is not a risk factor for GCC and GNCC, while the role of abdominal obesity in GCC needs further investigation.
Whether risk factors for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) differ by subtype (i.e., dualistic pathway of carcinogenesis, histologic subtype) is not well understood; however, data to date suggest risk factor differences. We examined associations between reproductive and hormone-related risk factors for EOC by subtype in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Among 334,126 women with data on reproductive and hormone-related risk factors (follow-up: 1992-2010), 1,245 incident cases of EOC with known histology and invasiveness were identified. Data on tumor histology, grade, and invasiveness, were available from cancer registries and pathology record review. We observed significant heterogeneity by the dualistic model (i.e., type I [low grade serous or endometrioid, mucinous, clear cell, malignant Brenner] vs. type II [high grade serous or endometrioid]) for full-term pregnancy (phet = 0.02). Full-term pregnancy was more strongly inversely associated with type I than type II tumors (ever vs. never: type I: relative risk (RR) 0.47 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.33-0.69]; type II, RR: 0.81 [0.61-1.06]). We observed no significant differences in risk in analyses by major histologic subtypes of invasive EOC (serous, mucinous, endometrioid, clear cell). None of the investigated factors were associated with borderline tumors. Established protective factors, including duration of oral contraceptive use and full term pregnancy, were consistently inversely associated with risk across histologic subtypes (e.g., ever full-term pregnancy: serous, RR: 0.73 [0.58-0.92]; mucinous, RR: 0.53 [0.30-0.95]; endometrioid, RR: 0.65 [0.40-1.06]; clear cell, RR: 0.34 [0.18-0.64]; phet = 0.16). These results suggest limited heterogeneity between reproductive and hormone-related risk factors and EOC subtypes.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) arises from the mucosal epithelium of the nasopharynx and is constantly associated with Epstein-Barr virus type 1 (EBV-1) infection. We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 575,247 autosomal SNPs in 184 NPC patients and 236 healthy controls of Malaysian Chinese ethnicity. Potential association signals were replicated in a separate cohort of 260 NPC patients and 245 healthy controls. We confirmed the association of HLA-A to NPC with the strongest signal detected in rs3869062 (p = 1.73 × 10(-9)). HLA-A fine mapping revealed associations in the amino acid variants as well as its corresponding SNPs in the antigen peptide binding groove (p(HLA-A-aa-site-99) = 3.79 × 10(-8), p(rs1136697) = 3.79 × 10(-8)) and T-cell receptor binding site (p(HLA-A-aa-site-145) = 1.41 × 10(-4), p(rs1059520) = 1.41 × 10(-4)) of the HLA-A. We also detected strong association signals in the 5'-UTR region with predicted active promoter states (p(rs41545520) = 7.91 × 10(-8)). SNP rs41545520 is a potential binding site for repressor ATF3, with increased binding affinity for rs41545520-G correlated with reduced HLA-A expression. Multivariate logistic regression diminished the effects of HLA-A amino acid variants and SNPs, indicating a correlation with the effects of HLA-A*11:01, and to a lesser extent HLA-A*02:07. We report the strong genetic influence of HLA-A on NPC susceptibility in the Malaysian Chinese.
Despite commendable progress in the prevention, detection, and treatment of a wide variety of solid tumor types, oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains a significant health burden across the globe. OSCC carcinogenesis involves accumulation of genetic alterations that coincide with the multistep malignant transformation of normal oral epithelium. OSCC is often first diagnosed at late stages of the disease (advanced regional disease and/or metastasis). Delayed diagnosis precludes successful treatment and favorable outcomes. In clinical practice, opportunities exist to identify patients with oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs), which precede the development of cancer. This review addresses the current status of laboratory and clinical research on OPMDs, with emphasis on leukoplakia and erythroplakia. OSF is also presented, though there is a paucity of published studies on this disorder. We focus on findings that could translate into earlier diagnosis and more efficacious treatment of those lesions with significant malignant potential. We explore how markers of OPMD malignant transformation might be implemented into current diagnostic practice to help clinicians objectively stratify patients into treatment/follow-up groups according to relative risk. We provide an overview of recently concluded and ongoing OPMD chemoprevention trials. We describe laboratory OPMD models that can be used to not only to reveal the genetic and molecular intricacies of oral cancer but also to develop novel screening methods and therapeutic approaches. Finally, we call for targeted screening programs of at-risk populations in order to facilitate diagnosis and treatment of OPMD and early OSCC.
Health risks stemming from betel-quid (BQ) chewing are frequently overlooked by people. Updated epidemiological data on the increased BQ use among Asian populations using comparable data collection methods have not been widely available. To investigate the prevalence, patterns of practice and associated types of oral preneoplastic disorders, an intercountry Asian Betel-quid Consortium study (the ABC study) was conducted for Taiwan, Mainland China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. A random sample of 8,922 subjects was recruited, and the data were analyzed using survey-data modules adjusted for the complex survey design. Chewing rates among men (10.7-43.6%) were significantly higher than women (1.8-34.9%) in Taiwan, Mainland China, Nepal and Sri Lanka, while women's rates (29.5-46.8%) were higher than that for men (9.8-12.0%) in Malaysia and Indonesia. An emerging, higher proportion of new-users were identified for Hunan in Mainland China (11.1-24.7%), where Hunan chewers have the unique practice of using the dried husk of areca fruit rather than the solid nut universally used by others. Men in the Eastern and South Asian study communities were deemed likely to combine chewing with smoking and drinking (5.6-13.6%). Indonesian women who chewed BQ exhibited the highest prevalence of oral lichen planus, oral submucous fibrosis and oral leukoplakia (9.1-17.3%). Lower schooling, alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking were identified as being associated with BQ chewing. In conclusion, the ABC study reveals the significant cultural and demographic differences contributing to practice patterns of BQ usage and the great health risks that such practices pose in the Asian region.
A panel of monoclonal antibodies specific to Hong Kong Chinese nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC)-associated Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) variants has been generated. These monoclonal antibodies not only differentiate the Hong Kong Chinese NPC-associated LMP1 variants from the prototype B95-8 LMP1, derived from Caucasian infectious mononucleosis, but also differentiate the 2 highly homologous LMP1 deletion variants commonly found in Hong Kong primary NPC. The predominant deletion type variant, DV-Asp335, is characterized by an aspartic acid at residue 335 located in the cytoplasmic C-terminal region, whereas the other minor deletion variant, DV-Gly335, has a glycine in the same residue position. 335D is hitherto found predominantly in LMP1 of the China 1 strain in association with NPC in the Chinese populations located in southern China and Malaysia. These antibodies, which are applicable in ELISA, immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation, immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry on paraffin sections, are the first variant-specific anti-LMP1 monoclonal antibodies produced, and will be useful in investigating the functional significance of 335D in NPC.
Isolation of single cells permits analysis of DNA or RNA from individual cells among heterogeneous populations. This technique is particularly useful in the study of classical Hodgkin's lymphoma (cHL) due to the scarcity of H/RS tumor cells among large numbers of reactive leukocytes. In a previous study, we found a high frequency of dual LMP-1 variant (concurrent presence of deleted and nondeleted variants) in cHL from whole-tissue sections. For the present study, we applied a single-cell isolation technique to determine the LMP-1 oncogene variant in EBV-associated H/RS cells. Five cases of EBV-infected cHL, containing nondeleted (n=1), deleted (n=1) and dual infection (n=3) based on whole-tissue section analysis, were selected for study. Paraffin-embedded tissue sections were stained with antibody to LMP-1 and positively stained H/RS cells isolated using a semiautomated micromanipulator. Each isolated single cell was subjected to PCR for amplification of the LMP-1 gene flanking the 30 bp deletion region and Xho1 restriction site. Cases with either nondeleted variant or the deleted variant showed similar LMP-1 variant expression in isolated single H/RS cells. However, 1 of the 3 cases with dual variants showed only the deleted variant in H/RS cells. The other 2 cases showed mixed patterns of deleted, nondeleted and dual LMP-1 variants in isolated single H/RS cells. All cases showed loss of the Xho1 restriction site, with the exception of the case with nondeleted LMP-1. Results of single-H/RS cell analysis of the Xho1 restriction site concur with those of whole-tissue section amplification. A mixed pattern of LMP-1 variants was observed in isolated H/RS cells, and it is speculated that this is due to the accumulation of mutation and deletion events.
We interviewed 282 histologically confirmed cases of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in Chinese residents of Selangor and the Federal Territory, Malaysia, and an equal number of Chinese age-, sex-, and length-of-residence-matched controls sampled from the general population. Consumption of 55 dietary items during childhood, and 5 years pre-diagnosis of NPC, was analyzed by univariate and multivariate methods. Four salted preserved foods (fish, leafy vegetables, egg and root), fresh pork/beef organ meats and beer and liquor consumption exhibited strong positive associations, and 4 vegetable/fruit combinations strong negative associations with NPC. Factor analysis and multivariable modeling using estimated factor scores strongly supported separate effects on NPC of vegetables/fruits, salted preserved foods, pork/beef organ meats and beer/liquor consumption. Multivariable modeling associated NPC most clearly with high consumption of salted fish, salted eggs, pork/beef liver and beer and low consumption of Chinese flowering cabbage, oranges/tangerines and shrimp. A strong residual association of social class with NPC remained after adjustment for diet, which is consistent with a substantial role for non-dietary environmental factors.
Oestrogen is important in the development of breast cancer. Oestrogen receptor positive breast cancers are associated with a better prognosis than oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancers since they are more responsive to hormonal treatment. Oestrone sulphate acts as a huge reservoir for oestrogens in the breast. It is converted to the potent oestrogen, oestradiol (E(2)) by the enzymes oestrone sulphatase and oestradiol-17beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (E(2)DH). Retinoic acid and carotenoids have been shown to have chemopreventive activity against some cancers. The aim of our study was to determine and compare the effects of retinoic acid and palm oil carotenoids on growth of and oestrone sulphatase and E(2)DH activities in the oestrogen receptor positive, MCF-7 and oestrogen receptor negative, MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines. Retinoic acid and carotenoids inhibited MCF-7 cell growth but had no effect on MDA-MB-231 cell growth. Both retinoic acid and carotenoids stimulated oestrone sulphatase activity in the MCF-7 cell line. E(1) to E(2) conversion was inhibited by 10(-7) M carotenoids but was stimulated at 10(-6) M in the MCF-7 cell line. Retinoic acid had no effect on E(1) to E(2) conversion at 10(-7) M but stimulated E(1) to E(2) conversion at 10(-6) M. Retinoic acid and carotenoids had no effect on E(2) to E(1) conversion in the MCF-7 cell line. Retinoic acid stimulated E(1) to E(2) conversion in the MDA-MB-231 cell line but had no effect on oestrone sulphatase activity or E(2) to E(1) conversion in this cell line. Both oestrone sulphatase and E(2)DH activity were not affected by carotenoids in the MDA-MB-231 cell line. In conclusion, retinoic acid and carotenoids may prevent the development of hormone-dependent breast cancers since they inhibit the growth of the MCF-7 cell line.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) type B, a less potent transformer of B lymphocytes than type A, has rarely been detected in EBV-associated neoplasms except in AIDS-related lymphomas, in which about 50% of the cases contained this sub-type. In this study we analyzed the association of EBV and the distribution of virus sub-types in Asian non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) of the upper aerodigestive tract. We studied archival material of 29 NHL cases from Malaysia. B- and T-cell associated antigens were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry, and EBV early RNA EBER-1 was demonstrated using the RNA in situ hybridization technique. EBV was detected in the majority of tumour cells in 11/13 T-NHL but in only 1/16 B-NHL. EBV was sub-typed by single-step polymerase chain reaction of the EBNA-2 gene. This was successful in 9/10 cases of EBER-1-positive tumours and all contained type-A virus only. Our results showed a preponderance of T-cell lymphoma of the upper aerodigestive tract in the ethnic Chinese group of Malaysian patients, and EBV was strongly associated with T-NHL but not with B-NHL. Our results suggest that type-A EBV is the prevalent sub-type in Asian NHL of the upper aerodigestive tract, similarly to findings in Asian nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Inhibition of tumour promotion by various vitamin E compounds (tocopherols and tocotrienols) and some of their dimers was examined by an in vitro assay utilizing the activation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) early antigen (EA) expression in EBV-genome-carrying human lymphoblastoid cells. The results reveal that gamma- and delta-tocotrienols derived from palm oil exhibit a strong activity against tumour promotion by inhibiting EBV EA expression in Raji cells induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). However, alpha- and gamma-tocopherols and dimers of gamma-tocotrienol or gamma-tocopherol lack this activity.
Expression of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encoded nuclear antigens (EBNA 1 to 6) and membrane-associated protein (LMP) was investigated by immunoblotting in 83 nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) biopsies and 25 other tumor and normal tissue specimens from the head and neck region. Fifty-eight of the 83 NPC biopsies were large enough to yield parallel data on virus DNA and viral expression. All 16 cases of clinically diagnosed and histologically confirmed NPCs from North Africa contained EBV DNA and expressed EBNA-1. Of 31 clinically diagnosed NPCs from China, 29 contained EBV DNA and 25 of these expressed EBNA-1. One control tissue biopsy from the oropharynx of NPC patients contained EBV DNA, but none expressed EBNA-1. The latent membrane protein (LMP) was detected in 22/31 of the Chinese and in 10/16 of the North African NPC biopsies. None of the NPC biopsies or control tissues expressed detectable amounts of EBNA 2 or any of the other 4 nuclear antigens which are invariably expressed in EBV-transformed B cells. A smaller number of tumors from Malaysia and East Africa exhibited a similar pattern of expression. EBV was rescued from a nude-mouse-passaged North African NPC tumor by co-cultivation of the tumor cells with umbilical cord blood lymphocytes. The tumor expressed EBNA 1 and LMP, but not EBNA 2 or the other 4 EBNAs. The resulting LCLs expressed all 6 nuclear antigens, EBNA 1 to 6 and LMP. Our data suggest that expression of the EBV genome is regulated in a tissue-specific fashion.
The Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen I (EBNA I) is the only latent EBV antigen consistently expressed in malignant tissues of the nasopharynx. A 20-amino-acid synthetic peptide, p107 contains a major epitope of EBNA I. We tested sera from 210 patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and from 128 normal individuals (NHS) for IgA antibodies to p107 using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Whereas 191/210 (91%) of NPC patients had IgA antibodies to p107, only 17/128 (13.3%) of NHS had such antibodies and only 6/57 (10.5%) of sera from patients with malignancies other than NPC had IgA-p107 reactivity. Thirty-nine salivary samples from 46 NPC patients (84.8%) also contained IgA-p107 antibodies whereas only 3/42 (7.1%) of normal saliva samples were IgA-p107 positive. The results suggest that IgA antibodies to EBNA I may become a useful, easily measurable, marker for NPC.