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Rev Med Virol. 2000 Mar-Apr;10(2):83-100.

EBNA-1: a protein pivotal to latent infection by Epstein-Barr virus.

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McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin Medical School, 1400 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen 1, or EBNA-1, is required for the replication of the EBV genome as an extra-chromosomal element and is a key transcriptional regulator of this virus's latent gene expression. In this review we will describe the salient features of EBNA-1 and oriP, the latent origin of EBV to which EBNA-1 binds site-specifically. EBNA-1's association with host cellular factors, its association with metaphase chromosomes, and its ability to link DNAs to which it binds will be discussed in relation to its roles in replication and transcriptional activation. Although the mechanisms by which EBNA-1 facilitates replication and transcription largely remain enigmatic, EBV's viral replicon has been exploited successfully for applications in gene therapy and in the design of eukaryotic vectors for use in cell culture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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