EBV Noncoding RNAs.
EBV expresses a number of viral noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) during latent infection, many of which have known regulatory functions and can post-transcriptionally regulate viral and/or cellular gene expression. With recent advances in RNA sequencing technologies, the list of identified EBV ncRNAs continues to grow. EBV-encoded RNAs (EBERs) , the BamHI-A rightward transcripts (BARTs) , a small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) , and viral microRNAs (miRNAs) are all expressed during EBV infection in a variety of cell types and tumors. Recently, additional novel EBV ncRNAs have been identified. Viral miRNAs, in particular, have been under extensive investigation since their initial identification over ten years ago. High-throughput studies to capture miRNA targets have revealed a number of miRNA-regulated viral and cellular transcripts that tie into important biological networks. Functions for many EBV ncRNAs are still unknown; however, roles for many EBV miRNAs in latency and in tumorigenesis have begun to emerge. Ongoing mechanistic studies to elucidate the functions of EBV ncRNAs should unravel additional roles for ncRNAs in the viral life cycle. In this chapter, we will discuss our current knowledge of the types of ncRNAs expressed by EBV, their potential roles in viral latency, and their potential involvement in viral pathogenesis.
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