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Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus contains G protein-coupled receptor and cyclin D homologs which are expressed in Kaposi's sarcoma and malignant lymphoma.

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PMC
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  • Research Article
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  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

A new human herpesvirus was recently identified in all forms of Kaposi's sarcoma (Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus [KSHV] or human herpesvirus 8), as well as in primary effusion (body cavity-based) lymphomas (PELs). A 12.3-kb-long KSHV clone was obtained from a PEL genomic library. Sequencing of this clone revealed extensive homology and colinearity with the right end of the herpesvirus saimiri (HVS) genome and more limited homology to the left end of the Epstein-Barr virus genome. Four open reading frames (ORFs) were sequenced and characterized; these are homologous to the following viral and/or cellular genes: (i) Epstein-Barr virus membrane antigen p140 and HVS p160, (ii) HVS and cellular type D cyclins, (iii) HVS and cellular G protein-coupled receptors, and (iv) HVS. Since there is considerable evidence that cyclin D1 and some G protein-coupled receptors contribute to the development of specific cancers, the presence of KSHV homologs of these genes provides support for a role for KSHV in malignant transformation. All ORFs identified are transcribed in PELs and Kaposi's sarcoma tissues, further suggesting an active role for KSHV in these diseases.

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