The Rta/Orf50 transactivator proteins of the gamma-herpesviridae.
Herpesvirus 4, Human
Promoter Regions, Genetic
Herpesvirus 8, Human
The replication and transcription activator protein, Rta, is encoded by Orf50 in Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and other known gammaherpesviruses including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), rhesus rhadinovirus (RRV), herpesvirus saimiri (HVS), and murine herpesvirus 68 (MHV-68). Each Rta/Orf50 homologue of each gammaherpesvirus plays a pivotal role in the initiation of viral lytic gene expression and lytic reactivation from latency. Here we discuss the Rta/Orf50 of KSHV in comparison to the Rta/Orf50s of other gammaherpesviruses in an effort to identify structural motifs, mechanisms of action, and modulating host factors.