Ka-Leung, Gary WONG

Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Ebna1-Targeted Inhibitors: The New Way Forward to End Epstein-Barr Virus Associated Cancer


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infects more than 90% of human worldwide and establishes lifelong latent infection in the hosts. It closely associates with endemic forms of a wide range of human cancers and directly contributes to the formation of some. Despite its critical role in cancer development, no EBV- or EBV latent protein-targeted therapy is available. The EBV-encoded latent protein, EBNA1 (Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen 1), is expressed in all EBV-associated tumors and acts as the only latent protein in some of these tumors. This versatile protein functions in the maintenance, replication and segregation of EBV genome, which in turn established itself as an attractive therapeutic target. In the last decades, efforts have been made for the design of specific EBNA1 inhibitors including decreasing EBNA1 expression or interfering with EBNA1-dependent functions, which also reflected that EBNA1 is the key to treat EBV-associated cancers. In this seminar, we will briefly introduce the features of EBNA1, and summarize known functional domains of EBNA1. We will also focus on our recent developments in the design/identifications of EBNA1 inhibitors related to different EBNA1 domains, with concrete descriptions and comparisons among them.


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