DNA methylation and the Epstein-Barr virus

Richard F. Ambinder, Keith D. Robertson, Qian Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


EBV is a ubiquitous herpesvirus associated with a variety of lymphoid and epithelial tumors. In healthy lymphocytes and in tumors immune surveillance is evaded by suppression of a family of immunodeficient viral antigens. Methylation of a viral promoter plays a crucial role in this suppression. Methylation of the viral genome in the latent state over evolutionary time is believed to account for CpG suppression that distinguishes this virus from most other large DNA viruses. Pharmacologic manipulation of methylation may offer an opportunity to unmask viral antigens and expose tumors to immense surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-375
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1999


  • Burkitts lymphoma
  • EBNA
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Methylation
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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