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Does the high level of U94 in iciHHV-6 contribute to abnormal ‘marker’ chromosomes and cancer?

Investigators from the University of Ferrara, Italy have found evidence suggesting that high levels of U94 in ciHHV6 may predispose to the formation of marker chromosomes. A patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma positive for inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6A and HHV-6A was also found in a marker chromosome, an abnormal piece of chromosome that is seen in some leukemia and lymphomas.

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Surprise finding : HHV-6 telomeric repeats are crucial for HHV-6 integration

When the research team led by Benedikt Kaufer attempted to shed light on the mechanism behind HHV-6 integration, they were suprised to find telomeric repeats were critical to the integration process. Since the U94 gene shares homology and biological properties with the adenovirus Rep68 gene responsible for viral integration into human chromosomes, U94 was considered the most likely candidate to mediate HHV-6 integration.

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Superinfection of HHV-6A in ciHHV6A patients with recurrent cardiac disease: a full genome analysis

A group led by Ursula Gompels from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London, did next generation sequencing on three ciHHV6A cardiac patients and found superinfections of HHV-6A in two of the three. They characterized the first full genome sequence of ciHHV-6A and demonstrated the inherited ciHHV6 genome was similar but distinct from known exogenous (community acquired) strains of HHV-6A .

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ciHHV-6 is a risk factor for angina pectoris

In an article published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Louis Flamand’s team has described a relationship between inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (iciHHV-6) and the development of angina pectoris.

Expert Opinion: Dr. Louis Flamand calls for screening of transplant organs and cells for ciHHV-6 status

Dr. Flamand, a professor and molecular virologist at Université Laval in Quebec city, has written an editorial calling for screening of organ donors for ciHHV-6 status and careful monitoring of recipients of ciHHV-6 donor tissues for signs of active HHV-6 infection and HHV-6 antigen-induced immune rejection. Flamand also questions whether solid organs and stem cells derived from persons with ciHHV-6 should be used in transplantation.