Viral MIP (Human Herpesvirus-8 Encoded CC Chemokines)

Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8)/Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) encodes a variety of immunomodulatory proteins which were apparently pirated from cellular genes by the virus. Three chemokine-like proteins, vMIP-I, vMIP-II and vMIP-III have been found within the HHV-8 genome. Viral MIP-II cDNA encodes a 94 amino acid (aa) residue precursor protein with a 23 aa residue signal peptide that is cleaved to yield a 71 aa residue mature protein. Among human chemokines, vMIP-II is most closely related to MIP-1 alpha, sharing approximately 41% amino acid sequence identity. At the amino acid sequence level, vMIP-I and vMIP-II also share 48% identity.