Exp Mol Med.  2015 Jan;47(1):e131. 10.1038/emm.2014.84.

Epstein-Barr virus latent genes

  • 1Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences and Technology (SAIHST), Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea. mkang@skku.edu
  • 2Samsung Biomedical Research Institute (SBRI), Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Program in Virology, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection has a substantial role in causing many human disorders. The persistence of these viral genomes in all malignant cells, yet with the expression of limited latent genes, is consistent with the notion that EBV latent genes are important for malignant cell growth. While the EBV-encoded nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1) and latent membrane protein-2A (LMP-2A) are critical, the EBNA-leader proteins, EBNA-2, EBNA-3A, EBNA-3C and LMP-1, are individually essential for in vitro transformation of primary B cells to lymphoblastoid cell lines. EBV-encoded RNAs and EBNA-3Bs are dispensable. In this review, the roles of EBV latent genes are summarized.

MeSH Terms

Epstein-Barr Virus Infections/complications/virology
Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens/genetics/metabolism
*Genes, Viral
Herpesvirus 4, Human/*physiology
Protein Binding
RNA, Viral/genetics
Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics/metabolism
*Virus Latency
EBV-associated membrane antigen, Epstein-Barr virus
Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens
RNA, Viral
Viral Matrix Proteins
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