Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) LMP1 is a major oncoprotein expressed in latent infection. It functions as a TNFR family member and constitutively activates cellular signals, such as NFκB, MAPK, JAK/STAT and AKT. We here screened small molecule inhibitors and isolated HSP90 inhibitors, Radicicol and 17-AAG, as candidates that suppress LMP1 expression and cell proliferation not only in EBV-positive SNK6 Natural Killer (NK) cell lymphoma cells, but also in B and T cells. Tumor formation in immuno-defficient NOD/Shi-scid/IL-2Rγnull (NOG) mice was also retarded. These results suggest that HSP90 inhibitors can be alternative treatments for patients with EBV-positive malignancies.
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