Research Papers:

EBV reactivation as a target of luteolin to repress NPC tumorigenesis

Chung-Chun Wu _, Chih-Yeu Fang, Hui-Yu Hsu, Hsin-Ying Chuang, Yu-Jhen Cheng, Yen-Ju Chen, Sheng-Ping Chou, Sheng-Yen Huang, Su-Fang Lin, Yao Chang, Ching-Hwa Tsai and Jen-Yang Chen

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:18999-19017. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7967

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Chung-Chun Wu1, Chih-Yeu Fang1,4, Hui-Yu Hsu1, Hsin-Ying Chuang1, Yu-Jhen Cheng1, Yen-Ju Chen1, Sheng-Ping Chou1, Sheng-Yen Huang1, Su-Fang Lin1, Yao Chang2, Ching-Hwa Tsai3, Jen-Yang Chen1,3

1National Institute of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Taiwan

2National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, National Health Research Institutes, Tainan, Taiwan

3Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

4Department of Pathology, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan

Correspondence to:

Jen-Yang Chen, e-mail: cjy@nhri.org.tw

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, relapse, Epstein-Barr virus, reactivation, luteolin

Received: September 12, 2015    Accepted: February 08, 2016    Published: March 08, 2016


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a malignancy derived from the epithelial cells of the nasopharynx. Although a combination of radiotherapy with chemotherapy is effective for therapy, relapse and metastasis after remission remain major causes of mortality. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is believed to be one of causes of NPC development. We demonstrated previously that EBV reactivation is important for the carcinogenesis of NPC. We sought, therefore, to determine whether EBV reactivation can be a target for retardation of relapse of NPC. After screening, we found luteolin is able to inhibit EBV reactivation. It inhibited EBV lytic protein expression and repressed the promoter activities of two major immediate-early genes, Zta and Rta. Furthermore, luteolin was shown to reduce genomic instability induced by recurrent EBV reactivation in NPC cells. EBV reactivation-induced NPC cell proliferation and migration, as well as matrigel invasiveness, were also repressed by luteolin treatment. Tumorigenicity in mice, induced by EBV reactivation, was decreased profoundly following luteolin administration. Together, these results suggest that inhibition of EBV reactivation is a novel approach to prevent the relapse of NPC.

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