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The control of lytic replication of Epstein-Barr virus in B lymphocytes (Review).

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Uncontrolled replication of a virus, which is harmful to the host is also disadvantageous to the virus. Most viruses cannot compete with the various immune mechanisms and become eliminated in the course of infection. Therefore, only the time between infection and eradication remains for these viruses to proliferate. A few viruses, like the Herpesviruses or the papillomaviruses, however, have developed a sophisticated strategy for persisting lifelong, usually asymptomatically in the host, hiding from the immune system and producing infectious progeny at the same time. This strategy depends on a separation of latency and the lytic replication, either by time due to differentiation-dependent mechanisms or by spatial separation as the result of different host cell types. Both are true for the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). B cells and epithelial cells have a pivotal role in the life cycle of the virus. The former can become latently infected and are thought to be the virus reservoir in vivo, whereas the latter were shown to be permissive for lytic replication. However, replication of EBV in vivo is controlled primarily by host immune mechanisms selecting for cells that are not permissive for viral replication as the result of a particular set of transcription factors. These factors control the activity of the regulatory immediate-early genes and, in addition, lytic and latent cycle regulatory genes negatively interfere with each other and thus link cellular and viral gene regulatory mechanisms. Disturbance of both the immune surveillance as well as viral gene regulation may result in EBV-associated disease.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institut fur Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, D-93053 Regensburg, Germany.

Publication date: January 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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