pSTAT3 and MYC in epstein-barr virus-positive diffuse large b-cell lymphoma

Siew Hoon Teoh, Joon Joon Khoo, Dayang Sharyati Datu Abdul Salam, Suat Cheng Peh, Shiau Chuen Cheah

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Introduction: Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is associated with several B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), but the role of EBV in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is poorly defined. Several studies indicated the expression of phosphorylated STAT3 (pSTAT3) is predominant in EBV(+)DLBCL, of which its activated form can promote the downstream oncogenes expression such as c-MYC. c-MYC gene rearrangements are frequently found in aggressive lymphoma with inferior prognosis. Furthermore, EBV is a co-factor of MYC dysregulation. JAK1/STAT3 could be the downstream pathway of EBV and deregulates MYC. To confirm the involvement of EBV in JAK1/ STAT3 activation and MYC deregulation, association of EBV, pSTAT3 and MYC in EBV(+)DLBCL cases were studied. The presence of pSTAT3 and its upstream proteins: pJAK1 is identify to delineate the role of EBV in JAK1/STAT3 pathway. Materials and Methods:51 cases of DLBCL paraffin-embedded tissue samples were retrieved from a single private hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. EBER-ISH was performed to identify the EBV expression; ten EBV(+)-DLBCL cases subjected to immunohistochemistry for LMP1, pJAK1, pSTAT3 and MYC; FISH assay for c-MYC gene rearrangement. Results: Among 10 cases of EBV(+)-DLBCL, 90% were non-GCB subtype (p=0.011), 88.9% expressed LMP1. 40% EBV(+)-DLBCL had pJAK1 expression. Conclusion: 66.7% EBV(+)-DLBCL showed the positivity of pSTAT3, which implies the involvement of EBV in constitutive JAK/STAT pathway. 44.5% EBV(+)-DLBCL have co-expression of pSTAT3 and MYC, but all EBV(+)-DLBCL was absence with c-MYC gene rearrangement. The finding of clinical samples might shed lights to the lymphomagenesis of EBV associated with non-GCB subtypes, and the potential therapy for pSTAT3-mediated pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalThe Malaysian Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • EBV
  • EBV(+)-DLBCL
  • MYC
  • PJAK1
  • PSTAT3

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