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Epstein-Barr Virus Genome

A page dedicated to the scientific research and academic study of Epstein-Barr Virus Genome.
Epstein-Barr Virus
Edited by: Erle S. Robertson
Comprehensive review from a genetic, biochemical, immunological, and cell biological perspective. Essential reading.
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Epstein-Barr Virus Genome

Epstein-Barr Virus Genome: A genetic map has been compiled for Epstein-Barr virus using published features annotated to the EBVwt sequence. EBVwt was assembled from the B95-8 and Raji sequences, which were determined experimentally. The detailed annotation for the summary map illustrated is available from the EMBL or Genbank databases under accession number AJ507799 Epstein-Barr Virus Genome.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is one of the eight known human herpesviruses. Its systematic name is human herpesvirus 4 (HHV4). Its genome is composed of ds DNA, about 170kb in length, and the DNA is linear in the virus particle. A repeated DNA sequence (the terminal repeat) present at the ends of the linear form (Figure 1) mediates circularisation in the infected cell so that latently infected cells contain the genome as a circular plasmid in the nucleus, with usually about 10 - 20 copies per infected cell. EBV was the first of the herpesviruses to be completely sequenced. Recently the sequences of relevant parts of the B95-8 and Raji strains of EBV have been used to create a composite sequence, known as EBVwt, which is now used as the reference sequence for the wild type EBV genome. EBV is a member of the gamma herpesviruses; the other human virus in this family is KSHV (HHV8).

EBV was the first large virus genome to be sequenced and subsequent comparison of sequenced herpesviruses has provided a great insight into the evolutionary relationships and biology of the viruses. Continuous refinement of the annotation of the EBV sequence has provided a valuable reference map of the viral genome and the precise numbering allows convenient description of features at the sequence level. However, when using the map, it is important to remember that there is considerable natural variation of repeat copy numbers and some strain variation that is not yet fully understood.
(adapted from Paul J. Farrell in Epstein-Barr Virus)

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