Expression of potentially oncogenic HHV-8 genes in an EBV-negative primary effusion lymphoma occurring in an HIV-seronegative patient

J Pathol. 1999 Oct;189(2):288-93. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9896(199910)189:2<288::AID-PATH419>3.0.CO;2-F.


Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a novel lymphoproliferative disorder associated with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) infection. Most PELs develop in HIV-seropositive individuals and are nearly always positive for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a finding which obscures the role of HHV-8 in lymphomagenesis. However, rare EBV-negative PEL cases occurring in HIV-seronegative patients have been reported, suggesting that HHV-8 may be pathogenetic by itself. To investigate whether HHV-8 may contribute to PEL development in the absence of EBV, the expression of seven potentially oncogenic HHV-8 open reading frames (ORFs) (ORF72/viral cyclin D, ORF16/viral bcl-2, ORF74/viral G-protein coupled receptor, ORFK2/viral IL-6, ORFK13/viral FLICE inhibitory protein, ORFK9/viral interferon regulatory factor, and ORFK1, equivalent to the gene encoding herpesvirus saimiri transforming protein) was assessed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in an EBV-negative PEL presenting in an HIV-negative patient. RNA transcripts were demonstrated for the seven HHV-8 genes, and this was confirmed by hybridization to specific oligonucleotide probes. The expression of potentially oncogenic HHV-8 genes in this HIV-, EBV-negative PEL case suggests that HHV-8 may induce malignant transformation of B-lymphocytes through different molecular pathways in the absence of EBV infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression
  • HIV Seronegativity
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / genetics*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged