Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) utilizes clathrin-mediated endocytosis for its infectious entry into human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) cells (S. M. Akula, P. P. Naranatt, N.-S. Walia, F.-Z. Wang, B. Fegley, and B. Chandran, J. Virol. 777978-7990, 2003). Here, we characterized KSHV entry into primary human microvascular dermal endothelial (HMVEC-d) and human umbilical vein endothelial (HUVEC) cells. Similar to the results for HMVEC-d cells, KSHV infection of HUVEC cells also resulted in an initial high level and subsequent decline in the expression of the lytic switch gene, ORF50, while latent gene expression persisted. Internalized virus particles enclosed in irregular vesicles were observed by electron microscopy of infected HMVEC-d cells. At an early time of infection, colocalization of KSHV capsid with envelope was observed by immunofluorescence analysis, thus demonstrating endocytosis of intact enveloped virus particles. Chlorpromazine, an inhibitor of clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and filipin (C(35)H(58)O(11)), a caveolar endocytosis inhibitor, did not have any effect on KSHV binding, entry (DNA internalization), or gene expression in HMVEC-d and HUVEC cells. In contrast to the results for HFF cells, virus entry and gene expression in both types of endothelial cells were significantly blocked by macropinocytosis inhibitors (EIPA [5-N-ethyl-N-isoproamiloride] and rottlerin [C(30)H(28)O(8)]) and by cytochalasin D, which affects actin polymerization. Inhibition of lipid raft blocked viral gene expression in HMVEC-d cells but not in HUVEC or HFF cells. In HMVEC-d and HUVEC cells, KSHV induced the actin polymerization and formation of lamellipodial extensions that are essential for macropinocytosis. Inhibition of macropinocytosis resulted in the distribution of viral capsids at the HMVEC-d cell periphery, and capsids did not associate with microtubules involved in the nuclear delivery of viral DNA. Internalized KSHV in HMVEC-d and HUVEC cells colocalized with the macropinocytosis marker dextran and not with the clathrin pathway marker transferrin or with caveolin. Dynasore, an inhibitor of dynamin, did not block viral entry into endothelial cells but did inhibit entry into HFF cells. KSHV was not associated with the early endosome marker EEA-1 in HMVEC-d cells, but rather with the late endosome marker LAMP1, as well as with Rab34 GTPase that is known to regulate macropinocytosis. Silencing Rab34 with small interfering RNA dramatically inhibited KSHV gene expression. Bafilomycin-mediated disruption of endosomal acidification inhibited viral gene expression. Taken together, these findings suggest that KSHV utilizes the actin polymerization-dependent, dynamin-independent macropinocytic pathway that involves a Rab34 GTPase-dependent late endosome and low-pH environment for its infectious entry into HMVEC-d and HUVEC cells. These studies also demonstrate that KSHV utilizes different modes of endocytic entry in fibroblast and endothelial cells.