Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection of preinvasive nasopharyngeal epithelium is believed to be an essential initiation event during nasopharyngeal carcinoma pathogenesis, but the underlying mechanisms are largely undefined. Here we demonstrate that EBV-encoded LMP1 reprograms the glucose metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis of nasopharyngeal epithelial (NPE) is a major process for NPC pathogenesis. RNA-seq analysis indicates that EBV infection reprograms the glucose metabolism from glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation and enhances the metabolic associated pathways. Our study show EBV encoded LMP1 is important for this event, EBV infection and LMP1 expression enhance the extracellular acidification rate and decrease the oxygen consumption rate in NPE cells. We further show that activation of mTORC2/AKT signaling is involved in this metabolic reprogramming in EBV-infected NPE cells. Genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of the mTORC2/AKT signaling blocks the LMP1-induced glycolysis. In summary, this study provides evidences of involvement of EBV infection in metabolic reprogramming of NPE cells. Acknowledgment: This project was supported by funding from the Research Grants Council, Hong Kong: General Research Fund (17120814, 17161116, 17111516, 171110315), Area of Excellence (AoE/M-06/08), Theme-Based Research Scheme (T12-401/13-R), Collaborative Research Fund (Project reference: C7027-16G); Health and Medical Research Fund of Hong Kong (12110782, 13120872, 04151726); and CRCG, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Citation Format: Jun Zhang, Weitao Lin, Chi-Man Tsang, Teng Fei Liu, W C. Tang, Tim Ling Yip, Wen Deng, Lin Jia, Sai-Wah Tsao. Epstein Barr virus-encoded LMP1 activates the mTORC2 signaling pathway to reprogram glucose metabolism in nasopharyngeal epithelial cell [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018; 2018 Apr 14-18; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 3084.