Seven small nuclear RNAs of the Sm class are encoded by Herpesvirus saimiri (HVS), a gamma Herpesvirus that causes aggressive T cell leukemias and lymphomas in New World primates and efficiently transforms T cells in vitro. The Herpesvirus saimiri U RNAs (HSURs) are the most abundant viral transcripts in HVS-transformed, latently infected T cells but are not required for viral replication or transformation in vitro. We have compared marmoset T cells transformed with wild-type or a mutant HVS lacking the most highly conserved HSURs, HSURs 1 and 2. Microarray and Northern analyses reveal that HSUR 1 and 2 expression correlates with significant increases in a small number of host mRNAs, including the T cell-receptor beta and gamma chains, the T cell and natural killer (NK) cell-surface receptors CD52 and DAP10, and intracellular proteins--SKAP55, granulysin, and NKG7--linked to T cell and NK cell activation. Upregulation of three of these transcripts was rescued after transduction of deletion-mutant-HVS-transformed cells with a lentiviral vector carrying HSURs 1 and 2. These changes indicate an unexpected role for the HSURs in regulating a remarkably defined and physiologically relevant set of host targets involved in the activation of virally transformed T cells during latency.