Research Papers:

Elimination of LMP1-expressing cells from a monolayer of gastric cancer AGS cells

Yoshitaka Sato, Shingo Ochiai, Takayuki Murata, Teru Kanda, Fumi Goshima and Hiroshi Kimura _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:39345-39355. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16996

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Yoshitaka Sato1, Shingo Ochiai1, Takayuki Murata1, Teru Kanda2, Fumi Goshima1 and Hiroshi Kimura1

1Department of Virology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Showa-Ku, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan

2Division of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Aoba-Ku, Sendai 981-8558, Japan

Correspondence to:

Hiroshi Kimura, email: [email protected]

Keywords: EBV, LMP1, cell competition, cell-cell communication, gastric cancer

Received: July 06, 2016     Accepted: March 28, 2017     Published: April 10, 2017


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latently infects malignant epithelial cells in approximately 10% of all gastric cancers. Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), an oncogenic protein, plays an important role in malignant transformation in EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma and B-cell lymphoma; however, its expression has not been detected in EBV-associated gastric cancer. To address why LMP1 has not been detected in EBV-positive gastric tumors, we focused on the interactions between LMP1-positive and -negative cells and stably expressed LMP1 in the gastric cancer cell line AGS. We showed that the number of LMP1-positive cells decreased gradually with each cell passage when the cells were co-cultured with LMP1-negative cells. Time-lapse imaging showed that LMP1-positive cells were eliminated from a monolayer of LMP1-negative cells. Furthermore, LMP1-positive cells stimulated the proliferation of surrounding LMP1-negative cells, but not LMP1-positive cells, via exosome-mediated EGFR activation. Our data indicate that LMP1 expression drives cell competition between LMP1-positive and -negative cells, affecting the behavior of the cells within gastric tissue.

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