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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antiviral agent cidofovir decreases Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) oncoproteins and enhances the radiosensitivity in EBV-related malignancies.

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is involved in the carcinogenesis of several human cancers such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma ( NPC) and Burkitt lymphoma (BL). Given the consistent role of EBV in transformation and maintenance of malignant phenotype, antiviral strategies provide an attractive approach to target EBV-expressing cells. In that aim, we have tested the Cidofovir, which is an acyclic nucleoside phosphonate analog known to exert an antiproliferative activity in some human virus-related tumors. Here, we show that Cidofovir induces a downregulation of the EBV oncoprotein LMP1 associated with a decrease of the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 and an increase of the proapoptotic Bax protein in Raji (BL) and C15 ( NPC) cells. Using BL cell line BL2 B95-8 ( BL2 infected with the B95.8 strain of EBV), we addressed the relation between EBV genome expression and modulation of viral oncoproteins by Cidofovir and/or ionizing radiation (IR). Cidofovir was able to significantly reduce LMP1 and EBNA2 mRNA and protein expression. This effect was associated with inhibition of proliferation, stimulation of apoptosis, and decrease of Bcl-2 expression in BL2 B95.8 cells. In addition, Cidofovir enhanced the radiation-induced apoptosis and the radiosensitivity through the proteolytic cleavage of death effectors caspase-9 and -3, which was specifically induced by combined treatment in EBV-positive cells compared to their negative counterparts. Furthermore, the combined treatment in nude mice led to a complete tumor remission without increasing toxicity in two human EBV-related cancer xenografts (Raji and C15). These results provide the basis for a novel anticancer strategy to enhance the therapeutic ratio of IR in EBV-related cancers.[1]


  1. Antiviral agent cidofovir decreases Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) oncoproteins and enhances the radiosensitivity in EBV-related malignancies. Abdulkarim, B., Sabri, S., Zelenika, D., Deutsch, E., Frascogna, V., Klijanienko, J., Vainchenker, W., Joab, I., Bourhis, J. Oncogene (2003) [Pubmed]
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