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Semin Cancer Biol. 2001 Dec;11(6):455-60.

Role of LMP1 in immune control of EBV infection.

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Tumour Immunology Laboratory, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research and Joint Oncology Program, University of Queensland, Bancroft Centre, Brisbane, Australia.


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encoded latent membrane protein (LMP1) plays a crucial role in the long-term persistence of this virus within the cells of the immune system. Not only is this protein critical for the transformation of resting B cells by EBV, it also displays pleiotropic effects on various cellular proteins expressed in the host cell. These include up-regulation of expression of B cell activation antigens, adhesion molecules and various components of the antigen processing pathway. Here we discuss how LMP1 acts like an expression 'switch' which, depending on the stage of EBV infection, manoeuvres various pathways that either modulate the immune system towards or against its survival.

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