Taking up Residence

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Science  16 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5507, pp. 1161
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5507.1161c

How do viruses evade detection and clearance? Strategies used range from inhibiting antigen processing and presentation to establishing latent or dormant nonreplicative infection. The herpes virus family is particularly adept at both. Latent infection established by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in B cells is marked by the constitutive expression of the latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A). Cells expressing LMP2A exhibit impaired B cell receptor (BCR) activation. Dykstra et al. show that LMP2A acts to prevent the BCR-initiated cascade of phosphorylation by blocking BCR translocation into lipid rafts (plasma membrane microdomains rich in cholesterol and sphingolipid); this also serves to block antigen complex processing because the requisite BCR internalization from rafts is diminished. Thus, LMP2A interferes with the immune clearance of virus by dampening B cell activation and inhibiting the T cell-mediated recognition of virus-infected B cells. — JN

Immunity14, 57 (2001).

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