EBNA2-deleted Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) isolate, P3HR1, causes Hodgkin-like lymphomas and diffuse large B cell lymphomas with type II and Wp-restricted latency types in humanized mice
EBV transforms B cells in vitro and causes human B-cell lymphomas including classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL), Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The EBV latency protein, EBNA2, transcriptionally activates the promoters of all latent viral protein-coding genes expressed in type III EBV latency and is essential for EBV's ability to transform B cells in vitro. However, EBNA2 is not expressed in EBV-infected CHLs and BLs in humans. EBV+ CHLs have type II latency and
... e II latency and are largely driven by the EBV LMP1/LMP2A proteins, while EBV+ BLs, which usually have type I latency are largely driven by c-Myc translocations, and only express the EBNA1 protein and viral non-coding RNAs. Approximately 15% of human BLs contain naturally occurring EBNA2-deleted viruses that support a form of viral latency known as Wp-restricted (expressing the EBNA-LP, EBNA3A/3B/3C, EBNA1 and BHRF1 proteins), but whether Wp-restricted latency and/or EBNA2-deleted EBV can induce lymphomas in humanized mice, or in the absence of c-Myc translocations, is unknown. Here we show that a naturally occurring EBNA2-deleted EBV strain (P3HR1) isolated from a human BL induces EBV-positive B-cell lymphomas in a subset of infected cord blood-humanized (CBH) mice. Furthermore, we find that P3HR1-infected lymphoma cells support two different viral latency types and phenotypes that are mutually exclusive: 1) Large (often multinucleated), CD30-positive, CD45-negative cells reminiscent of the Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells in CHL that express high levels of LMP1 but not EBNA-LP (consistent with type II viral latency); and 2) smaller monomorphic CD30-negative DLBCL-like cells that express EBNA-LP and EBNA3A but not LMP1 (consistent with Wp-restricted latency). These results reveal that EBNA2 is not absolutely required for EBV to form tumors in CBH mice and suggest that P3HR1 virus can be used to model EBV positive lymphomas with both Wp-restricted and type II latency in vivo.