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he scientists examined the human herpes virus 8, otherwise known as Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. Kaposi sarcoma is a cancer that causes lesions in soft tissue, including skin, the oral cavity, lymph nodes and internal organs.
“Understanding how the herpes virus switches from being dormant to causing cancer is important because of the health problems the herpes virus causes worldwide...”
More than 3.7 billion people under 50 years old — 67 percent of the population — are infected with two common herpes viruses that cause genital herpes or cold sores around the mouth...
Most herpes viruses remain dormant until someone’s immune system weakens due to factors such as age or a disease like human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. When the immune system cannot keep diseases in check, some of these herpes viruses can cause cancers...
Through mapping proteins that can restrict viral infections, the researchers found a protein called YTHDF2 that can help regulate the human herpes virus 8 by detecting the m6A modification on viral messenger RNA. The protein is the key switch that regulates human herpes virus 8 replication.