Analysis of the ORFK1 hypervariable regions reveal distinct HHV-8 clustering in Kaposi's sarcoma and non-Kaposi's cases

Paola Cordiali-Fei, Elisabetta Trento, Marta Giovanetti, Alessandra Lo Presti, Alessandra Latini, Massimo Giuliani, Giovanna D'Agosto, Valentina Bordignon, Eleonora Cella, Francesca Farchi, Carmela Ferraro, Ilaria Lesnoni La Parola, Carlo Cota, Isabella Sperduti, Antonella Vento, Antonio Cristaudo, Massimo Ciccozzi, Fabrizio Ensoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Classical Kaposi's Sarcoma (cKS) is a rare vascular tumor, which develops in subjects infected with Human Herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8). Beside the host predisposing factors, viral genetic variants might possibly be related to disease development. The aim of this study was to identify HHV-8 variants in patients with cKS or in HHV-8 infected subjects either asymptomatic or with cKS-unrelated cutaneous lymphoproliferative disorders. Methods: The VR1 and VR2 regions of the ORF K1 sequence were analyzed in samples (peripheral blood and/or lesional tissue) collected between 2000 and 2010 from 27 subjects with HHV-8 infection, established by the presence of anti-HHV-8 antibodies. On the basis of viral genotyping, a phylogenetic analysis and a time-scaled evaluation were performed. Results: Two main clades of HHV-8, corresponding to A and C subtypes, were identified. Moreover, for each subtype, two main clusters were found distinctively associated to cKS or non-cKS subjects. Selective pressure analysis showed twelve sites of the K1 coding gene (VR1 and VR2 regions) under positive selective pressure and one site under negative pressure. Conclusion: Thus, present data suggest that HHV-8 genetic variants may influence the susceptibility to cKS in individuals with HHV-8 infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • HHV-8
  • HHV-8 variants
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Phylogenesis
  • Selective pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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