Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV) is implicated in the pathogenesis of KS, a chronic inflammation-associated malignancy. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and its metabolite prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), two pivotal proinflammatory/oncogeneic molecules, are proposed to play roles in the expression of major KSHV latency-associated nuclear antigen-1 (LANA-1). Microsomal PGE2 synthase, PGE2, and its receptors (EP1, EP2, EP3, and EP4) were detected in KS lesions with the distinct staining of EP2/EP4 in KS lesions. In latently infected endothelial TIVE-LTC cells, EP receptor antagonists downregulated LANA-1 expression as well as Ca(2+), p-Src, p-PI3K, p-PKCzeta/lambda, and p-NF-kappaB, which are also some of the signal molecules proposed to be important in KS pathogenesis. Exogenous PGE2 and EP receptor agonists induced the LANA-1 promoter in 293 cells, and YY1, Sp1, Oct-1, Oct-6, C/EBP, and c-Jun transcription factors seem to be involved in this induction. PGE2/EP receptor-induced LANA-1 promoter activity was downregulated significantly by the inhibition of Ca(2+), p-Src, p-PI3K, p-PKCzeta/lambda, and p-NF-kappaB. These findings implicate the inflammatory PGE2/EP receptors and the associated signal molecules in herpes virus latency and uncover a novel paradigm that shows the evolution of KSHV genome plasticity to use inflammatory response for its survival advantage of maintaining latent gene expression. These data also suggest that potential use of anti-COX-2 and anti-EP receptor therapy may not only ameliorate the chronic inflammation associated with KS but could also lead to elimination of the KSHV latent infection and the associated KS lesions.