As Evidence-Based Tumorigenic Role of Epstein-Barr Virus miR-BART1-3p in Neurological Tumors

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Virology, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.

3 Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease Research Center (GILDRC), Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Laboratory of National Center, Vice Chancellor for Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, German Primate Center - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research, Göttingen, Germany.


Introduction: Central nervous system tumors are a diverse group of tumors that account for 2% of all adult cancers and 17% of childhood malignancies. Several internal and external risk factors are involved in the development of this cancer such as viral infections. The aim of this study was to the determination of the EBV infection frequency and the expression level of miR-122 and miR-BART in CNS tumors samples. Methods: One hundred and thirty-eight  fresh tissue sample (106 case and 32 control) was collected from CNS specimens. The presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA was examined by PCR assay and the expression level of miR-122 and miR-BART were evaluated by using real-time PCR assay in CNS tissue samples. Results: EBV DNA was detected in 17% (18 of 106) of tumors tissue samples and 6.4% (2 of 32) of control samples. according to results, there was a significant relationship between the presence of EBV-DNA with CNS tumors. Additionally, the expression level of miR-122 was significantly downregulated in the EBV-positive sample compared to that of the EBV-negative sample. Also, the level of EBV-BART1-3p expression was significantly higher in EBV-positive tumors samples than EBV-positive normal samples. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the EBV could change the condition of cancer cells by altering the expression of miR-122 and EBV-BART1-3p and maybe contribute to the development of cancer cells. However, the role of viral infections in CNS cancer requires further studies.