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Cell Host Microbe. 2010 Jul 22;8(1):100-15. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2010.06.014.

Viral latency and its regulation: lessons from the gamma-herpesviruses.

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  • 1Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Latency is a state of cryptic viral infection associated with genomic persistence and highly restricted gene expression. Its hallmark is reversibility: under appropriate circumstances, expression of the entire viral genome can be induced, resulting in the production of infectious progeny. Among the small number of virus families capable of authentic latency, the herpesviruses stand out for their ability to produce such infections in every infected individual and for being completely dependent upon latency as a mode of persistence. Here, we review the molecular basis of latency, with special attention to the gamma-herpesviruses, in which the understanding of this process is most advanced.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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