Epstein-Barr virus infection mechanisms

Chin J Cancer. 2014 Nov;33(11):545-8. doi: 10.5732/cjc.014.10168. Epub 2014 Oct 17.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection occurs by distinct mechanisms across different cell types. EBV infection of B cells in vitro minimally requires 5 viral glycoproteins and 2 cellular proteins. By contrast, infection of epithelial cells requires a minimum of 3 viral glycoproteins, which are capable of interacting with one or more of 3 different cellular proteins. The full complement of proteins involved in entry into all cell types capable of being infected in vivo is unknown. This review discusses the events that occur when the virus is delivered into the cytoplasm of a cell, the players known to be involved in these events, and the ways in which these players are thought to function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human*
  • Viral Proteins*
  • Virus Physiological Phenomena*


  • Viral Proteins