Modulation of the immune system by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus

Cristina Aresté*, David J. Blackbourn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


The most recently identified human herpesvirus is Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). It causes Kaposi's sarcoma, a tumour occurring most commonly in untreated AIDS patients and the leading cancer of men in certain parts of Africa. KSHV might also contribute to the pathogenesis of primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman's disease. The genome of KSHV contains 86 genes, almost a quarter of which encode proteins with either demonstrated or potential immunoregulatory activity. They include homologues of cellular proteins and unique KSHV proteins that can deregulate many aspects of the immune response, including T- and B-cell functions, complement activation, the innate antiviral interferon response and natural killer cell activity. The functions of these proteins and the ways in which they perturb the normal immune response are the subjects of the present review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

Bibliographical note

We regret many colleagues’ primary research papers that have contributed significantly to the field could not be cited because of space limitations. The authors thank Dr Rachel Colman for helpful comments.

Funding Information:
Research in D.J.B.’s laboratory is funded by Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council. C.A. is supported by MRC grant G0400408, awarded to D.J.B.


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