Flavell, K.J.; Biddulph, J.P.; Powell, J.E.; Parkes, S.E.; Redfern, D.; Weinreb, M.; Nelson, Paul N.; Mann, J.R.; Young, Lawrence S.; Murray, Paul G. (Nature Publishing Group, 2001)
In order to further define the factors associated with the observed variations in the Epstein-Barr virus-positive rate in childhood Hodgkin's disease, we have studied the effect of material deprivation (measured by the Townsend score) and ethnic origin on the frequency of Epstein-Barr virus-positivity in 55 cases of childhood Hodgkin's disease, diagnosed between 1981 and 1999, from a multi-ethnic region of the United Kingdom. Epstein-Barr virus status was determined by immunohistochemistry for the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded latent membrane protein-1. 62% of cases were Epstein-Barr virus-positive. Ethnic group was the strongest predictor of Epstein-Barr virus-positivity, with South Asians having a more than 20-fold risk of being Epstein-Barr virus-positive compared with non-South Asians. An increased risk was still present after adjusting for deprivation. Townsend scores were significantly higher (indicating more deprivation) in the Epstein-Barr virus-positive group, particularly in males. The relative risk of Epstein-Barr virus-positivity showed a gradient with increasing Townsend score; the risk being 7-times higher in the most deprived quartile compared with the least deprived group. Although the association between Townsend score and Epstein-Barr virus-positivity was reduced after adjusting for ethnic group, the risk of Epstein-Barr virus-positivity was still 3-times higher in the most deprived compared with the least deprived quartile. In addition, cases having 2 or more siblings were 5-times as likely to be Epstein-Barr virus-positive as those from smaller families. These results provide the first evidence of a strong association between Epstein-Barr virus-positive Hodgkin's disease and South Asian children from the United Kingdom. In addition, deprivation may increase the likelihood of Epstein-Barr virus-positive disease independently of ethnicity.
Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) is a transcription factor with high transcriptional activity in cancer cells. In this study, we developed a novel enhancer-promoter system, kappaB4-CEA205, in which the basal carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) promoter sequence (CEA205) was placed downstream of the four tandem-linked NF-kappaB DNA-binding sites (kappaB4). In combination with a kappaB4 enhancer, the transcriptional activity of the CEA promoter was significantly enhanced (three- to eight-fold) in cancer cell lines but not in normal cells. In cancer cell lines, the transcriptional activity of kappaB4-CEA205 was comparable with that of the SV40 promoter. We also constructed vectors in which the thymidine phosphorylase (TP) cDNA was under the control of CEA205, kappaB4, kappaB4-CEA205 and CMV promoters, respectively. TP protein and enzyme activity were detected at comparable levels in kappaB4-CEA205- and CMV-driven TP cDNA-transfected cancer cell lines (H630 and RKO). The kappaB4-TP and CEA205-TP-transfected cell lines, respectively, only demonstrated negligible and low levels of TP protein and enzyme activity. Both CMV- and kappaB4-CEA205-driven TP cDNA transiently transfected cells were 8- to 10-fold sensitised to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) prodrug, 5'-deoxy-5-fluorouradine (5'-DFUR), in contrast to only 1.5- to 2-fold sensitised by the kappaB4- and CEA205-driven TP cDNA-transfected cells. The bystander killing effect of CMV- and kappaB4-CEA205-driven TP cDNA-transfected cells was comparable. This is the first report that indicates that the NF-kappaB DNA-binding site could be used as a novel cancer-specific enhancer to improve cancer-specific promoter activity in gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy.
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