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Trends Mol Med. 2004 Jul;10(7):331-6.

Epstein-Barr virus sustains Burkitt's lymphomas and Hodgkin's disease.

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Department of Gene Vectors, GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Marchioninistrasse 25, 81377 Munich, Germany.


Two proteins of Epstein-Barr Virus make formerly unrecognized contributions to maintaining the tumors of Burkitt's lymphomas and Hodgkin's disease. The Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) protein can support the synthesis and maintenance of the viral genome. New data show that inhibiting EBNA1 in Burkitt's lymphoma cells induces cell death by apoptosis. Therefore, EBNA1 inhibits apoptosis and, according to recent findings, does so independently of other viral genes. The latent membrane protein 2a (LMP2a) binds to signaling molecules that are engaged by the B-cell receptor and inhibits the signaling that is mediated by antigen binding. New findings have revealed how LMP2a overcomes the apoptosis that normally results from the absence of functional B-cell receptors, and explain how Hodgkin's disease tumor cells, which are B cells, survive but lack functional antibodies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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