Enveloped, spherical to pleomorphic, 150-200 nm in diameter, T=16 icosahedral symmetry. Capsid consists of 162 capsomers and is surrounded by an amorphous tegument. Glycoproteins complexes are embedded in the lipid envelope.


Monopartite, linear, dsDNA genome of about 180 kb. The genome contains terminal and internal reiterated sequences.


Each viral transcript usually encodes a single protein and has a promoter/regulatory sequence, a TATA box, a transcription initiation site, a 5' leader sequence of 30-300 bp (not translated), a 3' untranslated sequence of 10-30 bp, and a poly A signal. There are many gene overlaps. There are only few spliced genes. Some of the expressed ORFs are antisense to each other. Some ORFs can be accessed from more than one promoter. Certain proteins are downregulated translationaly by a leaky scanning from an upstream ORF.



Lytic replication:

  1. Attachment of the viral glycoproteins to host receptors mediates endocytosis of the virus into the host cell.
  2. Fusion with the plasma membrane to release the core and the tegument proteins into the host cytoplasm.
  3. The capsid is transported to the nuclear pore where the viral DNA is released into the nucleus.
  4. Transcription of immediate early genes which promote transcription of early genes and protect the virus against innate host immunity.
  5. Transcription of early viral mRNA by host polymerase II, encoding proteins involved in replication of the viral DNA.
  6. A first round of circular genome amplification occurs by bidirectional replication
  7. Synthesis of linear concatemer copies of viral DNA by rolling circle.
  8. Transcription of late mRNAs by host polymerase II, encoding structural proteins.
  9. Assembly of the virus in nuclear viral factories and budding through the inner lamella of the nuclear membrane which has been modified by the insertion of herpes glycoproteins, throughout the Golgi and final release at the plasma membrane.

Latent replication : replication of circular viral episome in tandem with the host cell DNA using the host cell replication machinery.

Host-virus interaction

Adaptive immune response inhibition

Kaposi proteins MIR1/K3 and MIR2/K5 are E3 ubiquitin ligase which promote the ubiquitination and subsequent degradation of host MHC-I and CD1D molecules, thereby inhibiting the host adaptive immune response.

Apoptosis modulation

Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus encodes a viral FLICE inhibitory protein (vFLIP) that blocks apoptosis .

Autophagy modulation

The KSHV v-Bcl-2 inhibits host autophagy by interacting with host beclin-1 .

Cell-cycle modulation

KSHV v-cyclin encoded by ORF72, is a cyclin-like protein that shares homology to cellular D-type cyclins. Like human cyclins, v-cyclin interacts with cdk4 and cdk6 to activate these kinases and promote the G1/S phase transition. The conserved UL24 family of human alpha, beta and gamma herpesviruses induces a cell cycle arrest at G2/M transition through inactivation of the host cyclinB/cdc2 complex. EBV encodes an UL24 homolog termed ORF20 that should perform this role .

Innate immune response inhibition

Human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) has developed unique mechanisms to modulate host immune system by incorporating viral homologs to several cellular regulatory genes into its genome. For instance, vIRF-1 is able to bind to both IRF-3 and IRF-7 and efficiently inhibits the formation of transcriptionally competent IRF-3-CBP/p300 complexes .

Splicing inhibition

KSHV ORF57 modulates the viral and host mRNA expression by exporting unspliced mRNA, thereby inducing alternative splicing .

Matching UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot entries

181 entries grouped by strain (browse by keywords)

85 entries

Human herpesvirus 8 type P (isolate GK18) (HHV-8) (Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus) reference strain

TRX2_HHV8P Triplex capsid protein 2
VIL6_HHV8P Viral interleukin-6 homolog (vIL-6)
VCYCL_HHV8P viral cyclin homolog (v-cyclin)
TRM2_HHV8P Tripartite terminase subunit 2
TRM1_HHV8P Tripartite terminase subunit 1
TEG7_HHV8P Tegument protein ORF55
TRX1_HHV8P Triplex capsid protein 1
VIRF4_HHV8P Viral IRF4-like protein (vIRF-4)
UL79_HHV8P Protein UL79 homolog
TRM3_HHV8P Tripartite terminase subunit 3 (EC 3.1.-.-) (Terminase large subunit)
VMI2_HHV8P Viral macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (Viral macrophage inflammatory protein II) (vMIP-II) ...
UL95_HHV8P Protein UL95 homolog
VPK_HHV8P Viral protein kinase (EC 2.7.-.-)
UL92_HHV8P Protein ORF31
VGPCR_HHV8P viral G-protein coupled receptor (vGPCR) (Protein ORF74)
TYSY_HHV8P Thymidylate synthase (TS) (TSase) (EC
VCCL3_HHV8P Protein vCCL3
UL32_HHV8P Packaging protein UL32 homolog
DUT_HHV8P Deoxyuridine 5'-triphosphate nucleotidohydrolase (dUTPase) (EC (dUTP pyrophosphatase)
CEP2_HHV8P Cytoplasmic envelopment protein 2
AN_HHV8P Shutoff alkaline exonuclease (SOX) (EC 3.1.-.-)
UL49_HHV8P Protein ORF66
VIRF3_HHV8P Viral IRF3-like protein (VIRF-3)
UL24_HHV8P Protein UL24 homolog
SCP_HHV8P Small capsomere-interacting protein
UNG_HHV8P Uracil-DNA glycosylase (UDG) (EC (UNG)
VIRF2_HHV8P Viral IRF2-like protein (vIRF-2)
VFLIP_HHV8P Viral FLICE protein (vFLIP)
DPOL_HHV8P DNA polymerase catalytic subunit (EC (EC
CEP1_HHV8P Cytoplasmic envelopment protein 1
ORF49_HHV8P Protein ORF49
ORF27_HHV8P Protein ORF27
RIR2_HHV8P Ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase small subunit (EC (Ribonucleotide reductase small ...
RIR1_HHV8P Ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase large subunit (R1) (EC (Ribonucleotide reductase ...
ORF30_HHV8P Protein ORF30
NEC2_HHV8P Nuclear egress protein 2
PAP_HHV8P DNA polymerase processivity factor
PORTL_HHV8P Portal protein
OX2V_HHV8P OX-2 membrane glycoprotein homolog (Viral OX2) (vOX2)
GB_HHV8P Envelope glycoprotein B (gB)
ORF35_HHV8P Protein ORF35
GM_HHV8P Envelope glycoprotein M (gM)
NEC1_HHV8P Nuclear egress protein 1
ORF52_HHV8P Tegument protein ORF52
ORF75_HHV8P Protein ORF75
ORF23_HHV8P Protein ORF23
ORF28_HHV8P Protein ORF28
ORF11_HHV8P Protein ORF11
ORF58_HHV8P Protein ORF58
ORF4_HHV8P Complement control protein (KCP)
K1_HHV8P Protein K1
ORF24_HHV8P Protein ORF24
MIR2_HHV8P E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase MIR2 (EC (IE1A protein) (Modulator of immune recognition 2) ...
ORF45_HHV8P Protein ORF45
ICP27_HHV8P mRNA export factor ICP27 homolog (EB2 protein homolog)
K6_HHV8P Protein K6
LTP_HHV8P Large tegument protein deneddylase (EC (EC 3.4.22.-)
ORF50_HHV8P Putative transcription activator ORF50
ITP_HHV8P Inner tegument protein
ORF48_HHV8P Tegument protein ORF48
K81_HHV8P Protein K8.1
K15_HHV8P Protein K15
K12_HHV8P Protein K12
DNBI_HHV8P Major DNA-binding protein
MCP_HHV8P Major capsid protein (MCP)
MIR1_HHV8P E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase MIR1 (EC (IE1B protein) (Modulator of immune recognition 1) ...
ORF10_HHV8P Protein ORF10
SCAF_HHV8P Capsid scaffolding protein (Capsid protein P40) (Protease precursor) (pPR) [Cleaved into: Assemblin ...
PRIM_HHV8P DNA primase (EC 2.7.7.-)
KBZIP_HHV8P E3 SUMO-protein ligase K-bZIP (EC 2.3.2.-) (E3 SUMO-protein transferase K-bZIP)
HELI_HHV8P DNA replication helicase (EC 3.6.4.-)
DYR_HHV8P Putative Dihydrofolate reductase (EC
KITH_HHV8P Thymidine kinase (EC
HEPA_HHV8P DNA helicase/primase complex-associated protein (HEPA) (Primase-associated factor)
K42_HHV8P Protein K4.2
K7_HHV8P Protein K7
GL_HHV8P Envelope glycoprotein L (gL)
CVC2_HHV8P Capsid vertex component 2
GN_HHV8P Envelope glycoprotein N
GH_HHV8P Envelope glycoprotein H (gH)
CEP3_HHV8P Cytoplasmic envelopment protein 3
CVC1_HHV8P Capsid vertex component 1
ARBH_HHV8P Apoptosis regulator Bcl-2 homolog

75 entries

Saimiriine herpesvirus 2 (strain 11) (SaHV-2) (Herpesvirus saimiri) reference strain

CEP1_SHV21 Cytoplasmic envelopment protein 1
CVC2_SHV21 Capsid vertex component 2
CEP2_SHV21 Cytoplasmic envelopment protein 2
CD59_SHV21 Surface glycoprotein CD59 homolog
AN_SHV21 Shutoff alkaline exonuclease (SOX) (EC 3.1.-.-)
CCPH_SHV21 Complement control protein homolog (CCPH)
VG59_SHV21 Gene 59 protein
UL95_SHV21 Gene 34 protein
UL49_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 66 protein
VG27_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 27 protein
VG12_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 12 protein
UL87_SHV21 Gene 24 protein
VG28_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 28 protein
UL32_SHV21 Packaging protein UL32
VP03_SHV21 Probable membrane antigen 3 (Tegument protein)
VG10_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 10 protein
VG40_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 40 protein
TRX2_SHV21 Triplex capsid protein 2
SCP_SHV21 Small capsomere-interacting protein
TRM3_SHV21 Tripartite terminase subunit 3 (EC 3.1.-.-) (Terminase large subunit)
VG49_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 49 protein
TSTP_SHV21 Transforming protein STP
UL92_SHV21 Gene 31 protein
VG74_SHV21 G-protein coupled receptor homolog ECRF3
VG58_SHV21 Gene 58 protein
UL96_SHV21 Gene 35 protein
SCAF_SHV21 Capsid scaffolding protein (Capsid protein P40) (Protease precursor) (pPR) [Cleaved into: Assemblin ...
VIEG_SHV21 Immediate-early protein IE-G
UL24_SHV21 Protein UL24 homolog
TEG7_SHV21 Gene 55 protein
VG51_SHV21 Gene 51 glycoprotein
VG45_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 45 protein
TRX1_SHV21 Triplex capsid protein 1
UL79_SHV21 Gene 18 protein
VG16_SHV21 Bcl-2-like gene 16 protein
VG05_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 5 protein
PORTL_SHV21 Portal protein
UL91_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 30 protein
VG52_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 52 protein
VG11_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 11 protein
VG48_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 48 protein
TRM1_SHV21 Tripartite terminase subunit 1
VG71_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 71 protein
TYSY_SHV21 Thymidylate synthase (TS) (TSase) (EC
UNG_SHV21 Uracil-DNA glycosylase (UDG) (EC (UNG)
VP75_SHV21 Probable membrane antigen 75 (Tegument protein)
VG23_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 23 protein
VG41_SHV21 Uncharacterized gene 41 protein
CEP3_SHV21 Cytoplasmic envelopment protein 3
CGH2_SHV21 Cyclin homolog (V-cyclin)
GN_SHV21 Envelope glycoprotein N
ICP22_SHV21 Transcriptional regulator ICP22 homolog (Immediate-early protein)
PRIM_SHV21 DNA primase (EC 2.7.7.-)
DUT_SHV21 Deoxyuridine 5'-triphosphate nucleotidohydrolase (dUTPase) (EC (dUTP pyrophosphatase)
NEC1_SHV21 Nuclear egress protein 1
LTP_SHV21 Large tegument protein deneddylase (EC (EC 3.4.22.-)
RIR1_SHV21 Ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase large subunit (R1) (EC (Ribonucleotide reductase ...
NEC2_SHV21 Nuclear egress protein 2
GH_SHV21 Envelope glycoprotein H (gH)
ICP27_SHV21 mRNA export factor ICP27 homolog (52 kDa immediate-early phosphoprotein) (EB2 protein homolog)
GL_SHV21 Envelope glycoprotein L (gL)
KITH_SHV21 Thymidine kinase (EC
HELI_SHV21 DNA replication helicase (EC 3.6.4.-)
RIR2_SHV21 Ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase small subunit (EC (Ribonucleotide reductase small ...
MCP_SHV21 Major capsid protein (MCP)
CVC1_SHV21 Capsid vertex component 1
DPOL_SHV21 DNA polymerase catalytic subunit (EC
DNBI_SHV21 Major DNA-binding protein
GM_SHV21 Envelope glycoprotein M (gM)
IL17_SHV21 Viral interleukin-17 (vIL-17) (Immediate early gene 13 protein)
ITP_SHV21 Inner tegument protein
DYR_SHV21 Viral dihydrofolate reductase (vDHFR) (EC
GB_SHV21 Envelope glycoprotein B (gB)
GCVK_SHV21 Probable ganciclovir kinase (EC 2.7.1.-)
BRLF1_SHV21 Putative transcription activator BRLF1 homolog (Transcription activator EDRF1)

3 entries

Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) (Murine gammaherpesvirus 68) reference strain

LTP_MHV68 Large tegument protein deneddylase (EC (EC 3.4.22.-)
MIR1_MHV68 E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase MIR1 (EC (MK3) (Modulator of immune recognition 1 homolog) ...
ARBH_MHV68 Apoptosis regulator Bcl-2 homolog (vBcl-2) (Protein M11)

6 entries

Saimiriine herpesvirus 2 (strain 488) (SaHV-2) (Herpesvirus saimiri)

STP_SHV2C Saimiri transformation-associated protein (Collagen-like protein) (stpC)
YDH3_SHV2C Uncharacterized 9.5 kDa protein in DHFR 3'region (ORF3)
YDH4_SHV2C Uncharacterized 9.9 kDa protein in DHFR 3'region (ORF4)
TIP_SHV2C Tyrosine-protein kinase-interacting protein (Tip)
DYR_SHV2C Viral dihydrofolate reductase (vDHFR) (EC
IL17_SHV2C Viral interleukin-17 (vIL-17) (Immediate early gene 13 protein)

3 entries

Bovine herpesvirus 4 (strain DN-599) (BoHV-4) (Movar virus)

VIE1_BHV4D Probable E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase IE1 (EC (32.7 kDa immediate early protein IE1) ...
GCNT3_BHV4D Beta-1,3-galactosyl-O-glycosyl-glycoprotein beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (EC ...
BRLF1_BHV4D Putative transcription activator BRLF1 homolog

3 entries

Saimiriine herpesvirus 2 (strain 484-77) (SaHV-2) (Herpesvirus saimiri)

STP_SHV24 Saimiri transformation-associated protein (Collagen-like protein) (stpC)
TIP_SHV24 Tyrosine-protein kinase-interacting protein (Tip)
DYR_SHV24 Viral dihydrofolate reductase (vDHFR) (EC

1 entry

Ateline herpesvirus 3 (AtHV-3) (Herpesvirus ateles)

TIO_ATHV3 Protein tio

1 entry

Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) (Movar virus)

GCNT3_BHV4 Beta-1,3-galactosyl-O-glycosyl-glycoprotein beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (EC ...

1 entry

Bovine herpesvirus 4 (strain LVR140) (BoHV-4) (Movar virus)

GCNT3_BHV4L Beta-1,3-galactosyl-O-glycosyl-glycoprotein beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (EC ...

1 entry

Bovine herpesvirus 4 (strain V. test) (BoHV-4) (Movar virus)

GCNT3_BHV4V Beta-1,3-galactosyl-O-glycosyl-glycoprotein beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (EC ...

1 entry

Herpesvirus ateles

TYSY_HSVAT Thymidylate synthase (TS) (TSase) (EC

1 entry

Saimiriine herpesvirus 2 (strain 484) (SaHV-2) (Herpesvirus saimiri)

TIP_SHV48 Tyrosine protein kinase-interacting protein (Tip) (TipC484)