Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have identified a human cell surface molecule named xCT that plays a major role in infection by Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV). This virus causes Kaposi sarcoma, the most common cancer associated with HIV infection, and other lymphoproliferative syndromes.
The investigators found that xCT mediates KSHV fusion with host cells and that expression of recombinant xCT renders otherwise nonsusceptible cells permissive for KSHV cell fusion and entry (Kaleeba JA and Berger EA. Science. 2006;311:1921-1924). In addition, antibodies against xCT can block KSHV fusion and entry into target cells.
Hampton T. KSHV Receptor. JAMA. 2006;295(20):2347. doi:10.1001/jama.295.20.2347-d