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Keyword - Viral latency (KW-1251)

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Viral protein expressed primarily to establish, maintain or terminate latency, the part of the viral life cycle during which a virus lies dormant (latent) within a cell. This part of the virus life cycle is called the lysogenic part in prokaryotic viruses. During latency, the viral genome can either exist as a provirus integrated in the host genome (proviral latency) or as a linear or circular plasmid in the host cell (episomal latency). The virus does not replicate, but is passively duplicated when the host divides. In eukaryotes for example, HHV-1 and HHV-3 establish episomal latency in neurons. HIV is integrated as a provirus in the genome of resting CD4-positive T cells, allowing the virus to persist for years. Following changes in the environmental conditions of the host, reactivation of the virus can occur leading to viral transcription and production of new infectious viruses.


  • Viral lysogeny


Biological process

Gene Ontology


viral latency [ GO:0019042 ]


Viral latencyBiological process
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