Activation of DNA damage response induced by the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpes virus

Enea Gino Di Domenico, Luigi Toma, Valentina Bordignon, Elisabetta Trento, Giovanna D’Agosto, Paola Cordiali-Fei, Fabrizio Ensoli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8), also known as Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV), can infect endothelial cells often leading to cell transformation and to the development oftumors, namely Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), and the plasmablasticvariant of multicentric Castleman’s disease. KSHV is prevalent in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean region presenting distinct genotypes, which appear to be associated with differences in disease manifestation, according to geographical areas. In infected cells, KSHV persists in a latent episomal form. However, in a limited number of cells, it undergoes spontaneous lytic reactivation to ensure the production of new virions. During both the latent and the lytic cycle, KSHV is programmed to express genes which selectively modulate the DNA damage response (DDR) through the activation of the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) pathway and by phosphorylating factors associated with the DDR, including the major tumor suppressor protein p53 tumor suppressor p53. This review will focus on the interplay between the KSHV and the DDR response pathway throughout the viral lifecycle, exploring the putative molecular mechanism/s that may contribute to malignant transformation of host cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number854
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Cancer
  • DNA damage response
  • Kaposi
  • Sarcoma
  • Skin
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications


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