Most herpesviruses of the beta and gamma subfamilies encode homologues of cytokines and chemokine receptor-related G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The roles of these proteins during normal virus replication in the infected host have not been defined in most cases, but the available data and extrapolation from what is known about the properties and functions of their cellular counterparts indicate that they play primary roles in immune evasion or in activating cellular signaling cascades that enhance virus productive replication. Cytokines and chemokine receptors specified by the two human gammaherpesviruses, human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), are the subject of this review. HHV-8 encodes three chemokines, a homologue of interleukin-6, and a CXCR2-related chemokine receptor, while EBV encodes a distinct GPCR and a homologue of interleukin-10. While these viral cytokines and chemokine receptors no doubt contribute to virus biology, their properties indicate that they may also be involved in virus-induced neoplasia. This review discusses the properties, functions, and likely roles of HHV-8 and EBV cytokines and chemokine receptors in relation to both virus biology and virus-associated disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology