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Virus "Star Wars"

Grant McFadden
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 7 Number 3: Page 38 (June 2000)

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Abstract: Viruses that successfully infect immunocompetent hosts have evolved a variety of strategies to retard immune recognition and clearance. One of the ploys used by the larger DNA viruses is to express virus-encoded proteins that are secreted from the infected cell and block key elements of the immune and inflammatory response. These secreted proteins are referred to as "virokines" if the mimic cytokines, growth factors, or complement regulators, and as "viroceptors" if they resemble cellular receptors. Collectively they constitute a growing class of anti-immune molecules that have the potential to be exploited as therapeutics for diseases caused by excessive inflammation or hyperactive immune cells.

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