The effects of the epstein-barr virus latent membrane protein 2a on b cell function

Mark Merchant, Rachel Swart, Rebecca B. Katzman, Masato Ikeda, Akiko Ikeda, Richard Longnecker*, Michell L. Dykstra, Susan K. Pierce

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Epstein-Bart Virus (EBV) infects B-lymphocytes circulating through the oral epithelium and establishes a lifelong latent infection in a subset of mature-memory B cells. In these latently infected B cells, EBV exhibits limited gene expression with the latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) being the most consistently detected transcript. This persistent expression, coupled with many studies of the function of LMP2A in vitro and in vivo, indicates that LMP2A is functioning to control some aspect of viral latency. Establishment and maintenance of viral latency requires exquisite manipulation of normal B cell signaling and function. LMP2A is capable of blocking normal B cell signal transduction in vitro, suggesting that LMP2A may act to regulate lytic activation from latency in vivo. Furthermore, LMP2A is capable of providing B cells with survival signals in the absence of normal BCR signaling. These data show that LMP2A may help EBV-infected cells to persist in vivo. This review discusses the advances that have been made in our understanding of LMP2A and the effects it has on B cell development, activation, and viral latency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-835
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • B cell receptor
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • LMP2A
  • Latency
  • Signal transduction
  • Viral oncogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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