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Viruses 2018, 10(7), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10070349

Molecular Aspects of Varicella-Zoster Virus Latency

1
Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA
2
Division of Clinical Virology, Center for Infectious Diseases, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-1 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan
3
Department of Viroscience, Erasmus Medical Centre, 3015 CN Rotterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Varicella Zoster Virus)
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Abstract

Primary varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection causes varicella (chickenpox) and the establishment of a lifelong latent infection in ganglionic neurons. VZV reactivates in about one-third of infected individuals to cause herpes zoster, often accompanied by neurological complications. The restricted host range of VZV and, until recently, a lack of suitable in vitro models have seriously hampered molecular studies of VZV latency. Nevertheless, recent technological advances facilitated a series of exciting studies that resulted in the discovery of a VZV latency-associated transcript (VLT) and provide novel insights into our understanding of VZV latency and factors that may initiate reactivation. Deducing the function(s) of VLT and the molecular mechanisms involved should now be considered a priority to improve our understanding of factors that govern VZV latency and reactivation. In this review, we summarize the implications of recent discoveries in the VZV latency field from both a virus and host perspective and provide a roadmap for future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: varicella-zoster virus; latency; reactivation; sensory ganglia; VZV latency-associated transcript; open reading frame 63; RNA-sequencing; epigenetics; immunity varicella-zoster virus; latency; reactivation; sensory ganglia; VZV latency-associated transcript; open reading frame 63; RNA-sequencing; epigenetics; immunity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Depledge, D.P.; Sadaoka, T.; Ouwendijk, W.J.D. Molecular Aspects of Varicella-Zoster Virus Latency. Viruses 2018, 10, 349.

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