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RNA Biol. 2014;11(1):10-7. doi: 10.4161/rna.27488. Epub 2013 Dec 20.

RNA families in Epstein-Barr virus.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Yale University; Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; New Haven, CT USA.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a tumorigenic human γ-herpesvirus, which produces several known structured RNAs with functional importance: two are implicated in latency maintenance and tumorigenic phenotypes, EBER1 and EBER2; a viral small nucleolar RNA (v-snoRNA1) that may generate a small regulatory RNA; and an internal ribosomal entry site in the EBNA1 mRNA. A recent bioinformatics and RNA-Seq study of EBV identified two novel EBV non-coding (nc)RNAs with evolutionary conservation in lymphocryptoviruses and likely functional importance. Both RNAs are transcribed from a repetitive region of the EBV genome (the W repeats) during a highly oncogenic type of viral latency. One novel ncRNA can form a massive (586 nt) hairpin, while the other RNA is generated from a short (81 nt) intron and is found in high abundance in EBV-infected cells.


EBER; Epstein–Barr virus; latency; ncRNA; pseudoknot; stable intronic sequence RNA

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