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Interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF-7) was cloned within the biological context of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) latency, and has an intimate relation with EBV. EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1) regulates IRF-7 both by inducing the expression of IRF-7 and by activating IRF-7 protein through phosphorylation and nuclear translocation in a post-translational manner. The activated IRF-7 then functions to regulate both EBV and cellular target genes involved in latency, transformation and immune regulation. IRF-7 appears to be a key cellular latency protein involved in both the pathogenesis and persistence of EBV infection.