Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus encodes a functional Bcl-2 homologue

Ronit Sarid, Takaaki Sato, Roy A. Bohenzky, James J. Russo, Yuan Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

310 Scopus citations


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a newly discovered herpesvirus etiologically associated with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and two lymphoproliferative disorders. We describe a KSHV vbcl-2 gene with homology to the proto-oncogene bcl-2. It is expressed in KS lesions and in cell lines derived from primary effusion lymphomas. Using yeast and human cells we demonstrate the ability of KSHV vBcl-2 protein to suppress Bax toxicity. We show that KSHV vBcl-2 heterodimerizes with human Bcl-2 in a yeast two-hybrid system. These results suggest that KSHV vBcl-2 plays an anti-apoptotic role in virus infected cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-298
Number of pages6
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Cancer InstituteR01CA067391


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