It was proposed that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is closely associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC); however, the molecular mechanisms involved in the effect of EBV on NPC host genes have not yet been well defined. For this study, two sets of microarray experiments, NPC (EBV-free) vs normal epithelial cells and EBV+ vs EBV- NPC arrays, were analyzed and the datasets were cross-compared to identify any correlation between gene clusters involved in EBV targeting and the NPC host gene expression profiles. Statistical analysis revealed that EBV seems to have a preference for targeting more genes from the differentially expressed group in NPC cells than those from the ubiquitously expressed group. Furthermore, this trend is also reflected in log ratios where the EBV target genes of the differentially expressed group origin showed greater log ratios than genes with an origin from the ubiquitously expressed NPC group. Taken together, the genome-wide comparative scanning of EBV and NPC transcriptomes has successfully demonstrated that EBV infection has an intensifying effect on the signals involved in NPC gene expression both in breadth (the majority of the genes) and in depth (greater log ratios).
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