University of Florida Health Researchers Find “Switch” That Lets Common, Cancer-Causing Virus Replicate (UF Health Newsroom)

University of Florida Health Researchers Find “Switch” That Lets Common, Cancer-Causing Virus Replicate

Many viruses are master manipulators, hijacking cellular functions to propagate, spread and avoid elimination by their hosts’ immune system. Now, University of Florida researcher Sumita Bhaduri-McIntosh, M.D., Ph.D., has discovered how the common, cancer-causing Epstein-Barr virus does just that by using a complex of proteins to emerge from a dormant state and begin replicating.

The findings help to explain why diabetes raises the risk of Epstein-Barr virus-associated immune system cancers in transplant patients. Bhaduri-McIntosh said the findings could also apply more broadly to people who have diabetes and those who carry the Epstein-Barr virus.

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