Notch and Wnt Signaling: Mimicry and Manipulation by Gamma Herpesviruses

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Science's STKE  16 May 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 335, pp. re4
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3352006re4

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A small number of cell signaling pathways regulate the proliferation and differentiation of cells during normal development. Two of these pathways, the Notch and Wnt pathways, are targets for virus interaction and manipulation. In general, viral gene expression and replication are intimately linked to the differentiation state of the infected cell and, in the case of the gamma herpesviruses, establishment of a lifelong persistent infection in the host depends on proliferation of an infected population of B cells. This review examines the ways in which the gamma herpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi’s sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV) have exploited the Notch and Wnt pathways to advance their own life cycles. The ways in which EBV and KSHV interact with the Notch and Wnt pathways are compared with each other and with the mechanisms and outcome of cellular Notch and Wnt signaling.