Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) has been causally linked to Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). There is significant homology between some HHV-8 genes and cellular genes including D-type cyclin (vCYC), G protein coupled receptor (vGCR), macrophage inflammatory proteins (vMIP-l, vMIP-11), bcl-2 (vBCL2), interferon regulatory factor-1 (vlRF1), interleukin-6 (vlL6), and complement-binding protein (vCBP). In this study, we analyzed expression of these viral homologs and HIV-1 Tat by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) coupled with Southern blot hybridization in AIDS-KS (AKS) tissue, classic KS tissue(CKS), and peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and phorbol ester (TPA)- treated and untreated HHV-8 positive lymphoma cells (BCBL1). While vCYC (AKS 6 of 6; CKS 3 of 3), vMIP-l (AKS 5 of 6, CKS 3 of 3), vBCL2 (AKS 6 of 6; CKS 3 of 3), and vlRF1 (AKS 5 of 6, CKS 3 of 3) transcripts were detected in both AKS and CKS, vGCR and HIV-1 Tat were expressed only in AKS samples (vGCR: AKS 3 of 6, CKS 0 of 3; Tat: AKS 4 of 6, CKS 0 of 3). vMlPII, vCBP, and vlL6 expression were not detected in any KS samples. Since vGCR expression is limited to AKS, it is possible that vGCR is activated by HIV-1 Tat. These results suggest that HIV-1 Tat may contribute to AKS pathogenesis through the tumorigenic and angiogenic effects of vGCR. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
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