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Nature. 1980 Sep 11;287(5778):164-5.

Epstein--Barr virus-induced cell fusion.


Serological and molecular biological studies have shown an association between Epstein--Barr virus (EBV) and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Although it has been shown that the epithelioid tumour cells carry EBV genomes, they are apparently devoid of receptors for EBV (H.W., unpublished observations). Other have suggested that fusion of EBV carrying cells with epithelial cells may be the mode of entry of the virus into cells unable to absorb the virus and that this may be mediated by one of the known syncytium-forming viruses which inhabit the respiratory tract (for example, members of the paramyxovirus group). de Thé and colleagues suggested that intercellular bridges could be seen in NPC tumour material. We have developed a technique which permits the preparation of stable monolayers of viable human lymphoblastoid cell lines. Using this technique we have now demonstrated that EBV can induce fusion between EBV-superinfected lymphoblastoid cells and cells devoid of EBV receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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