Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a human γ-herpesvirus with B cell growth–transforming ability and carcinogenic potential. More than 90% of human adults are infected with EBV. In healthy individuals, EBV typically establishes a persistent latent infection, in which the virus can be detected in resting, non-proliferating peripheral B lymphocytes.
BZLF1 is a transcriptional activator and regulates a promoter of an EBV gene. It plays a key role in the switch from latent to productive EBV infection.