The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a DNA virus with a relatively stable genome. Indeed, genomic variability is reported to be around 0.002%. However, some regions are more variable such as those carrying latency genes and specially EBNA1, -2, -LP, and LMP1. Tegument genes, particularly BNRF1, BPLF1, and BKRF3, are also quite mutated. For a long time, it has been considered for this ubiquitous virus, which infects a very large part of the population, that particular strains could be the cause of certain diseases. However, the mutations found, in some cases, are more geographically restricted rather than associated with proliferation. In other cases, they appear to be involved in oncogenesis. The objective of this chapter is to provide an update on changes in viral genome sequences in malignancies associated with EBV. We focused on describing the structure and function of the proteins corresponding to the genes mentioned above in order to understand how certain mutations of these proteins could increase the tumorigenic character of this virus. Mutations described in the literature for these proteins were identified by reporting viral and/or cellular functional changes as they were described.
Part of the book: Epstein-Barr Virus