High glucose induces reactivation of latent Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus

Fengchun Ye, Yan Zeng, Jingfeng Sha, Tiffany Jones, Kurt Kuhne, Charles Wood, Shou Jiang Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A high prevalence of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is seen in diabetic patients. It is unknown if the physiological conditions of diabetes contribute to KS development. We found elevated levels of viral lytic gene expression when Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-infected cells were cultured in high-glucose medium. To demonstrate the association between high glucose levels and KSHV replication, we xenografted telomerase-immortalized human umbilical vein endothelial cells that are infected with KSHV (TIVE-KSHV cells) into hyperglycemic and normal nude mice. The injected cells expressed significantly higher levels of KSHV lytic genes in hyperglycemic mice than in normal mice. We further demonstrated that high glucose levels induced the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which downregulated silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1), a class III histone deacetylase (HDAC), resulting in the epigenetic transactivation of KSHV lytic genes. These results suggest that high blood glucose levels in diabetic patients contribute to the development of KS by promoting KSHV lytic replication and infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9654-9663
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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