HHV-8 is a y2 herpesvirus (rhadinovirus) and is the first human representative of this group. Several animal rhadinoviruses are known and some of them, herpesvirus saimiri (HVS), alcephaline herpesvirus 1 (AHV-1) and ovine herpesvirus 2 (OHV-2), cause lymphoid malignancies. Among human herpesviruses, HHV-8 is most closely related to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a y, herpesvirus, which also causes lymphoid tumors in immunosuppressed individuals and may play a role in other malignant diseases (African Burkitt's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, nasopharyngeal carcinoma). While EBV-mediated cellular transformation has been studied in detail, much less (with the exception of HVS) is known about the oncogenic mechanisms of rhadinoviruses.
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