Study of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in gastric adenocarcinomas: frequency, clinic-histopathologic association and the relation to the expression of the BCL-2, BAX and C-MYC proteins.

by Pereira de, Marcos Antonio

Abstract (Summary)
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been related to the tumorigenesis of the gastric carcinomas, varying from 1.3-19.3% according to the studied population. Several studies have demonstrated strong evidences of its relation in this process, such as the monoclonality of the viral genome and its the presence in almost all tumor cells. However, most of the mechanisms used by the virus to control this process are still unknown. In this context, the present study aimed to investigate the frequency of the EBV and the association with the BCL-2, BAX and c-MYC proteins. Therefore, 100 cases of gastric carcinoma (67 males and 33 females), obtained from two hospitals in Fortaleza, were assessed to detect the EBV by PCR and in situ hybridization (aimed to the EBER1 transcript) using the standard method and GenPoint®. Immunohistochemistry technique was done to evaluate the expression of the referred cellular proteins, by streptavidin-biotin-peroxidase method. The distribution by sex, age, tumor anatomic site and the histopathologic analysis, in general, reproduced the pattern of the world scientific bibliographies. Regarding virus detection by in situ hybridization, 8 (8%) cases were positive, 6 of these had shown diffuse pattern of staining, and 2 had demonstrated focal pattern. From 100 cases, only 2 presented infected lymphocytes. In general, the EBV demonstrated higher association with: males (87.5%[p=0.265]), tumors situated in the cardia (37.5% [p=0.549]), advanced stage (IIIB and IV), intestinal type (87.5%[p=0.136]), and moderately differentiated (75%).There were no EBV-positive cases which exhibited BCL-2 staining. Although the BAX and the c-MYC (nuclear) proteins have demonstrated significant positivity index and scores averages in the EBV-positive group, these were lower than the values of the EBV-negative group, notably the c-MYC nuclear protein (Mann-Withney test LI p=0.039 and HS p=0.045). The cytoplasmic staining of the c-MYC protein revealed slightly higher staining values in the EBV-positive group. The balance between the BCL-2 and BAX proteins demonstrated that the majority of the evaluated cases had exhibited apoptosis-orientation, however 62.3% of the EBV-positive cases exhibited equilibrium between these proteins. Twenty-nine cases (28 negative and 1 positive) were submitted to the biotinyl tyramide system (in situ hybridization method - GenPoint®), demonstrating the same results obtained by the standard technique. From the 61 cases assessed by PCR, 35 (57.4%) were positive, being verified a low concordance index (kappa = -0.026 [±0.069]) with the standard in situ hybridization technique. The 30bp deletion of LMP1 gene was investigated in 24 out of 35 positive cases, being verified in 37.5% of these. The results obtained in the present study, concerning the EBV frequency and the correlation with clinic-histopathologic data, reproduced findings of researches done in several world regions. The correlation with the proteins suggests that in vivo the virus is not related to the overexpression of BCL-2 and c-MYC (nuclear) that could act in synergism to promote the tumor development. The suppression of the BAX expression might represent a viral mechanism for apoptosis inhibition. The results of the cytoplasmic c-MYC point to a possible involvement of the EBV with transport mechanisms of the nuclear membrane, resulting in its accumulation in the cytoplasm. The low frequency of infected lymphocytes indicates that they are not the main responsible of the high number of positivity in the PCR technique. It could be, at least in part, due to the infected normal and/or pre-neoplastic epithelium, suggesting a new latency pattern which not express the EBER1.
This document abstract is also available in Portuguese.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Silvia Helena Barem Rabenhorst; Márcia Valéria Pitombeira Ferreira; Paula Rahal; Aparecida Tiemi Nagao Dias

School:Universidade Federal do Ceará

School Location:Brazil

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:Tumorigênese Epstein-Barr virus Gastric carcinomas Tumorigenesis Adenocarcinoma


Date of Publication:02/08/2006

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