SUMMARY About a fifth of all human cancers worldwide are caused by infectious agents. In 12% of cancers, seven different viruses have been causally linked to human oncogenesis: Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B virus, human papillomavirus, human T-cell lymphotropic virus, hepatitis C virus, Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus, and Merkel cell polyomavirus. Here, we review the many molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis that have been discovered over the decades of study of these viruses. We discuss how viruses can act at different stages in the complex multistep process of carcinogenesis. Early events include their involvement in mutagenic events associated with tumor initiation such as viral integration and insertional mutagenesis as well as viral promotion of DNA damage. Also involved in tumor progression is the dysregulation of cellular processes by viral proteins, and we describe how this has been investigated by studies in cell culture and in experimental animals and by molecular cellular approaches. Also important are the molecular mechanisms whereby viruses interact with the immune system and the immune evasion strategies that have evolved.
M. White, J. Pagano, K. Khalili
Clinical Microbiology Reviews