Virus entry is a complex process characterized by a sequence of events. Since the discovery of KSHV in 1994, tremendous progress has been made in our understanding of KSHV entry into its in vitro
target cells. KSHV entry is a complex multistep process involving viral envelope glycoproteins and several cell surface molecules that is utilized by KSHV for its attachment and entry. KSHV has a broad cell tropism and the attachment and receptor engagement on target cells have an important role in determining the cell type-specific mode of entry. KSHV utilizes heparan sulfate, integrins and EphrinA2 molecules as receptors which results in the activation of host cell pre-existing signal pathways that facilitate the subsequent cascade of events resulting in the rapid entry of virus particles, trafficking towards the nucleus followed by viral and host gene expression. KSHV enters human fibroblast cells by dynamin dependant clathrin mediated endocytosis and by dynamin independent macropinocytosis in dermal endothelial cells. Once internalized into endosomes, fusion of the viral envelope with the endosomal membranes in an acidification dependent manner results in the release of capsids which subsequently reaches the nuclear pore vicinity leading to the delivery of viral DNA into the nucleus. In this review, we discuss the principal mechanisms that enable KSHV to interact with the host cell surface receptors as well as the mechanisms that are required to modulate cell signaling machinery for a successful entry.
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