The leukemic‐cell population of one CLL patient, PG, was found to contain a sub‐set of EBV‐genome‐carrying cells. It was detected directly by the expression of EBNA (EBV‐encoded nuclear antigen) and by its capacity to grow in vitro. The proportion of EBNA‐positive cells (0.1%) was maintained constantly during the period of this study, the final 3 years of the patient's life. EBV‐carrying clonal sibling B‐cell lines were established on 5 occasions. They had identically rearranged JH bands and chromosomal markers corresponding to the ex vivo CLL cells. Analysis of the viral episomes in the lines proved that they were the descendants of one cell. On the last occasion of blood sampling, 8 B‐cell lines were established; 4 of these contained the same clonal markers as the previous lines, while 4 other lines belonged to another clone with identical JH rearrangement. Their abnormal karyotypes were different from the first clone. The chromosomal markers were only partly identical, suggesting secondary diversifications. The EBV sub‐strain carried by this group of lines was different from the sub‐strain of the first clone, as judged by the EBNA size distributions (EBNOtype) and EBV‐DNA analysis. Analysis of the terminal repeat in the viral episomes also showed that the first and the second set of clones represented 2 independent EBV‐infection events in vivo. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research