Evidence implicates Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the pathogenesis of tumours arising in lymphoid or epithelial tissue. EBV may adopt different forms of latent infection in different tumour types, reflecting the complex interplay between virus and host-cell environment. Immune response is another important factor influencing EBV gene expression, and viral latent proteins to which immunodominant CTL responses are directed (namely the EBNA3 family), are downregulated in virus-associated tumours arising in overtly immunocompetent individuals. Understanding the functions of EBV latent proteins will improve our knowledge of the role of the virus in transformation, and may help to identify novel therapies.
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|Published - 1 Jan 2004