Human herpesvirus 8-encoded cytokines

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6 Scopus citations


Human herpesvirus (HHV) -8, also called Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, was discovered in 1994 and was rapidly sequenced, revealing several unique and surprising features of its genetic makeup. Among these discoveries was the identification of the first viral homolog of IL-6 and three CC/β-chemokine ligands (viral CCL-1, -2 and -3), not previously found in γ-herpesviruses. Viral IL-6 was immediately recognized as a potential contributor to HHV-8 pathogenesis, specifically endothelial-derived Kaposis sarcoma and the B-cell malignancy multicentric Castlemans disease with which IL-6, a proangiogenic and B-cell growth factor, had previously been implicated. The roles of the viral chemokines were speculated to involve immune evasion; however, like viral IL-6, the viral chemokines have the potential to contribute to pathogenesis through their shared angiogenic activities, known to be important for Kaposis sarcoma and HHV-8-associated primary effusion lymphoma, and also via direct prosurvival activities. This article will discuss the molecular properties, activities and functions of viral IL-6 and the viral CCLs, proteins that could provide appropriate targets for antiviral and therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalFuture Virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Angiogenesis
  • HHV-8
  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Multicentric Castleman's disease
  • Pathogenesis
  • Primary effusion lymphoma
  • Signal transduction
  • VCCL
  • VIL-6
  • Viral IL-6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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