BamHI-A rightward frame 1, an Epstein-Barr virus-encoded oncogene and immune modulator

Eveline K. Hoebe, Tessa Y. S. Le Large, Astrid E. Greijer, Jaap M. Middeldorp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) causes several benign and malignant disorders of lymphoid and epithelial origin. EBV-related tumors display distinct patterns of viral latent gene expression, of which the BamHI-A rightward frame 1 (BARF1) is selectively expressed in carcinomas, regulated by cellular differentiation factors including ΔNp63α. BARF1 functions as a viral oncogene, immortalizing and transforming epithelial cells of different origin by acting as a mitogenic growth factor, inducing cyclin-D expression, and up-regulating antiapoptotic Bcl-2, stimulating host cell growth and survival. In addition, secreted hexameric BARF1 has immune evasive properties, functionally corrupting macrophage colony stimulating factor, as supported by recent functional and structural data. Therefore, BARF1, an intracellular and secreted protein, not only has multiple pathogenic functions but also can function as a target for immune responses. Deciphering the role of BARF1 in EBV biology will contribute to novel diagnostic and treatment options for EBV-driven carcinomas. Herein, we discuss recent insights on the regulation of BARF1 expression and aspects of structure-function relating to its oncogenic and immune suppressive properties
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-383
JournalReviews in medical virology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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