Epstein-Barr virus is an etiologic factor in multiple types of cancer that primarily develop in lymphocytes and epithelial cells. The tumors are latently infected yet express distinct subsets of viral proteins that are essential for transformation. The viral oncogenes may be expressed in a subset of cells and are transferred through exosomes to many cells to induce growth and alter the tumor environment. In some of the viral cancers, viral proteins are not expressed, however, the viral miRNAs can alter growth by decreasing expression of negative regulators of cell growth such as tumor suppressors and cellular proteins that induce apoptosis.
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