Methylation of the Epstein-Barr virus genome in normal lymphocytes

Keith D Robertson, Richard F. Ambinder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent infection in B cells persists over years or decades despite a sustained cytotoxic immune response to viral antigens. We present data that methylated EBV DNA can be detected in the normal lymphocytes of healthy volunteers. Whereas methylation of foreign DNA has been recognized as a potential cellular defense mechanism, methylation of EBV DNA may be an essential part of the virus life cycle in vivo, explaining the persistence of virus-infected B cells in the face of immune surveillance. Methylation of the C promoter helps to prevent expression of the immunodominant antigens expressed from this promoter. First recognized in tumors, methylation-associated evasion of immune surveillance is not an aberration restricted to tumor tissue but is detected in normal EBV-infected lymphocytes. Methylation of the viral genome in latency also provides an explanation for the CpG suppression associated with EBV but not other large DNA viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4480-4484
Number of pages5
JournalBlood
Volume90
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

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Methylation
Lymphocytes
Human Herpesvirus 4
Viruses
Genes
Genome
B-Lymphocytes
Immune Evasion
Immunodominant Epitopes
Epstein-Barr Virus Infections
DNA Viruses
Viral Antigens
Viral Genome
DNA
DNA Methylation
Life Cycle Stages
Tumors
Neoplasms
Healthy Volunteers
Cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Cite this

Methylation of the Epstein-Barr virus genome in normal lymphocytes. / Robertson, Keith D; Ambinder, Richard F.

In: Blood, Vol. 90, No. 11, 01.12.1997, p. 4480-4484.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Robertson, KD & Ambinder, RF 1997, 'Methylation of the Epstein-Barr virus genome in normal lymphocytes', Blood, vol. 90, no. 11, pp. 4480-4484.
Robertson, Keith D ; Ambinder, Richard F. / Methylation of the Epstein-Barr virus genome in normal lymphocytes. In: Blood. 1997 ; Vol. 90, No. 11. pp. 4480-4484.
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