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Semin Cancer Biol. 2012 Apr;22(2):154-61. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2011.12.002. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Role of EBNA1 in NPC tumourigenesis.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 1 Kings College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A8.


EBNA1 is expressed in all NPC tumours and is the only Epstein-Barr virus protein needed for the stable persistence of EBV episomes. EBNA1 binds to specific sequences in the EBV genome to facilitate the initiation of DNA synthesis, ensure the even distribution of the viral episomes to daughter cells during mitosis and to activate the transcription of other viral latency genes important for cell immortalization. In addition, EBNA1 has been found to alter cellular pathways in multiple ways that likely contribute to cell immortalization and malignant transformation. This chapter discusses the known functions and cellular effects of EBNA1, especially as pertains to NPC.

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