Research Papers:

Epstein-Barr virus EBNA2 directs doxorubicin resistance of B cell lymphoma through CCL3 and CCL4-mediated activation of NF-κB and Btk

Joo Hyun Kim, Won Seog Kim, Jung Yong Hong, Kyungju Ryu, Seok Jin Kim and Chaehwa Park _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:5361-5370. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14243

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Joo Hyun Kim1, Won Seog Kim1,2, Jung Yong Hong3, Kung Ju Ryu4, Seok Jin Kim1,2, Chaehwa Park1

1Research Institute for Future Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul 06351, Korea

2Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul 06351, Korea

3Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea

4Department of Health Science and Technology, Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences and Technology, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul 06351, Korea

Correspondence to:

Won Seog Kim, email: [email protected]

Chaehwa Park, email: [email protected]

Keywords: EBNA2, CCL3, CCL4, doxorubicin resistance, B cell lymphoma

Received: July 22, 2016    Accepted: December 01, 2016    Published: December 27, 2016


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded nuclear antigen, EBNA2, expressed in EBV-infected B lymphocytes is critical for lymphoblastoid cell growth. Microarray profiling and cytokine array screening revealed that EBNA2 is associated with upregulation of the chemokines CCL3 and CCL4 in lymphoma cells. Depletion or inactivation of CCL3 or CCL4 sensitized DLBCL cells to doxorubicin. Our results indicate that EBV influences cell survival via an autocrine mechanism whereby EBNA2 increases CCL3 and CCL4, which in turn activate the Btk and NF-κB pathways, contributing to doxorubicin resistance of B lymphoma cells. Western blot data further confirmed that CCL3 and CCL4 direct activation of Btk and NF-κB. Based on these findings, we propose that a pathway involving EBNA2/Btk/NF-κB/CCL3/CCL4 plays a key role in doxorubicin resistance, and therefore, inhibition of specific components of this pathway may sensitize lymphoma cells to doxorubicin. Evaluation of the relationship between CCL3 expression and EBV infection revealed high CCL3 levels in EBV-positive patients. Our data collectively suggest that doxorubicin treatment for EBNA2-positive DLBCL cells may be effectively complemented with a NF-κB or Btk inhibitor. Moreover, evaluation of the CCL3 and CCL4 levels may be helpful for selecting DLBCL patients likely to benefit from doxorubicin treatment in combination with the velcade or ibrutinib.

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