Molecular properties and therapeutic targeting of the ebv-encoded receptor bilf1

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review


The γ-herpesvirus Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV) establishes lifelong infections in approximately 90% of adults worldwide. Up to 1,000,000 people yearly are estimated to suffer from health conditions attributed to the infection with this virus, such as nasopharyngeal and gastric carcinomas as well as several forms of B, T and NK cell lymphoma. To date, no EBV-specific therapeutic option has reached the market, greatly reducing the survival prognoses of affected patients. Similar to other herpesviruses, EBV encodes for a G protein–coupled receptor (GPCR), BILF1, affecting a multitude of cellular signaling pathways. BILF1 has been identified to promote immune evasion and tumorigenesis, effectively ensuring a life-long persistence of EBV in, and driving detrimental health conditions to its host. This review summarizes the epidemiology of EBV-associated malignancies, their current standard-of-care, EBV-specific therapeutics in development, GPCRs and their druggability, and most importantly consolidates the findings of over 15 years of research on BILF1 in the context of EBV-specific drug development. Taken together, BILF1 constitutes a promising target for the development of novel EBV-specific therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4079
Issue number16
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Research areas

  • Antiviral treatment, BILF1, Cancer, Constitutive activity, Epstein–Barr virus, G protein–coupled receptor, Oncogenic virus

ID: 281109507