Herpesviruses result in life-long infections within their hosts. All herpesviruses must therefore contend with both the innate and adaptive immune responses, in order to persist. A novel immune evasion strategy employed by gamma2-herpesviruses such as Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and rhesus macaque rhadinovirus (RRV) is the viral interferon regulatory factors (vIRFs). Cellular interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) play important roles in regulating the interferon (IFN)-signaling pathway and are often targeted by invading pathogens. The vIRFs are viral proteins, which share homology with cellular IRFs. Research in the field of vIRFs has uncovered multi-faceted roles for these unique viral factors. Importantly, multiple studies have demonstrated that the vIRFs are involved in regulating both the innate and adaptive immune responses to viral infection. This report will provide a comprehensive review on the immune-modulatory effects of KSHV and RRV viral interferon regulatory factors.
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