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1.  Ser-634 and Ser-636 of Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus RTA are Involved in Transactivation and are Potential Cdk9 Phosphorylation Sites 
The replication and transcription activator (RTA) of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), K-RTA, is a lytic switch protein that moderates the reactivation process of KSHV latency. By mass spectrometric analysis of affinity purified K-RTA, we showed that Thr-513 or Thr-514 was the primary in vivo phosphorylation site. Thr-513 and Thr-514 are proximal to the nuclear localization signal (527KKRK530) and were previously hypothesized to be target sites of Ser/Thr kinase hKFC. However, substitutions of Thr with Ala at 513 and 514 had no effect on K-RTA subcellular localization or transactivation activity. By contrast, replacement of Ser with Ala at Ser-634 and Ser-636 located in a Ser/Pro-rich region of K-RTA, designated as S634A/S636A, produced a polypeptide with ∼10 kDa shorter in molecular weight and reduced transactivation in a luciferase reporter assay relative to the wild type. In contrast to prediction, the decrease in molecular weight was not due to lack of phosphorylation because the overall Ser and Thr phosphorylation state in K-RTA and S634A/S636A were similar, excluding that Ser-634 or Ser-636 motif served as docking sites for consecutive phosphorylation. Interestingly, S634A/S636A lost ∼30% immuno-reactivity to MPM2, an antibody specific to pSer/pThr-Pro motif, indicating that 634SPSP637 motif was in vivo phosphorylated. By in vitro kinase assay, we showed that K-RTA is a substrate of CDK9, a Pro-directed Ser/Thr kinase central to transcriptional regulation. Importantly, the capability of K-RTA in associating with endogenous CDK9 was reduced in S634A/S636A, which suggested that Ser-634 and Ser-636 may be involved in CDK9 recruitment. In agreement, S634A/S636A mutant exhibited ∼25% reduction in KSHV lytic cycle reactivation relative to that by the wild type K-RTA. Taken together, our data propose that Ser-634 and Ser-636 of K-RTA are phosphorylated by host transcriptional kinase CDK9 and such a process contributes to a full transcriptional potency of K-RTA.
PMCID: PMC3283893  PMID: 22371709
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus; replication and transcription activator; phosphorylation; negative elongation factor B; CDK9
2.  Identification of Direct Transcriptional Targets of the Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Rta Lytic Switch Protein by Conditional Nuclear Localization▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(21):10709-10723.
Lytic reactivation from latency is critical for the pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). We previously demonstrated that the 691-amino-acid (aa) KSHV Rta transcriptional transactivator is necessary and sufficient to reactivate the virus from latency. Viral lytic cycle genes, including those expressing additional transactivators and putative oncogenes, are induced in a cascade fashion following Rta expression. In this study, we sought to define Rta's direct targets during reactivation by generating a conditionally nuclear variant of Rta. Wild-type Rta protein is constitutively localized to cell nuclei and contains two putative nuclear localization signals (NLSs). Only one NLS (NLS2; aa 516 to 530) was required for the nuclear localization of Rta, and it relocalized enhanced green fluorescent protein exclusively to cell nuclei. The results of analyses of Rta NLS mutants demonstrated that proper nuclear localization of Rta was required for transactivation and the stimulation of viral reactivation. RTA with NLS1 and NLS2 deleted was fused to the hormone-binding domain of the murine estrogen receptor to generate an Rta variant whose nuclear localization and ability to transactivate and induce reactivation were tightly controlled posttranslationally by the synthetic hormone tamoxifen. We used this strategy in KSHV-infected cells treated with protein synthesis inhibitors to identify direct transcriptional targets of Rta. Rta activated only eight KSHV genes in the absence of de novo protein synthesis. These direct transcriptional targets of Rta were transactivated to different levels and included the genes nut-1/PAN, ORF57/Mta, ORF56/Primase, K2/viral interleukin-6 (vIL-6), ORF37/SOX, K14/vOX, K9/vIRF1, and ORF52. Our data suggest that the induction of most of the KSHV lytic cycle genes requires additional protein expression after the expression of Rta.
PMCID: PMC2573185  PMID: 18715905
3.  Reduction of O-GlcNAc protein modification does not prevent insulin resistance in 3T3-L1 adipocytes 
3T3-L1 adipocytes develop insulin-resistant glucose transport upon preincubation with high (25 mM) glucose, provided that insulin (0.6 nM) is included, Akt activation is impaired, and high glucose and insulin act synergistically. Considerable evidence suggests that increased glucose flux via the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway enhances the O-GlcNAc modification (O-GlcNAcylation) of some critical protein(s) that may contribute to insulin resistance. However, whether enhanced protein O-GlcNAcylation is necessary for the development of insulin resistance is unknown. We used two strategies to test this hypothesis. The first strategy was the overexpression of O-GlcNAcase, which removes O-GlcNAc from Ser/Thr of proteins. Cells were infected with O-GlcNAcase-expressing adenovirus (or empty virus) 5 days before they were submitted to protocols that elicit (or not) insulin resistance. O-GlcNAcase was highly expressed and functional as assessed by Western blot, O-GlcNAcase assay, and marked reduction of O-GlcNAcylated proteins. The activity was mainly cytosolic. The second strategy was the expression of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) being markedly reduced by transfection of OGT siRNA, resulting in an approximately 90% decrease of nuclear and cytosolic OGT protein expression and similar reduction in O-GlcNAcylated proteins. Non-targeting siRNA had no effect. Preincubation in high glucose with low-dose insulin decreased the acute insulin response of glucose transport by at least 50% and impaired Akt activation. None of these parameters were affected by overexpression of O-GlcNAcase or by OGT knockout. Excess O-GlcNAcylation is one of many factors that can cause insulin resistance. It does not seem to be required for the development of glucose/insulin-induced insulin resistance of glucose transport and Akt activation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.
PMCID: PMC2366901  PMID: 17122093
glucose transport; Akt activation; O-linked N-acetylglucosamine
4.  Role of CCAAT/Enhancer-Binding Protein Alpha (C/EBPα) in Activation of the Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) Lytic-Cycle Replication-Associated Protein (RAP) Promoter in Cooperation with the KSHV Replication and Transcription Activator (RTA) and RAP 
Journal of Virology  2003;77(1):600-623.
The Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-encoded replication-associated protein (RAP, or K8) has been shown to induce both CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBPα) and p21CIP-1 expression, resulting in G0/G1 cell cycle arrest during the lytic cycle. RAP and C/EBPα are also known to interact strongly both in vitro and in lytically infected cells. We recognized two potential consensus C/EBP binding sites in the RAP promoter and performed electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) analysis with in vitro-translated C/EBPα; this analysis showed that one of these sites has a very high affinity for C/EBPα. Luciferase (LUC) assays performed with a target RAP promoter-LUC reporter gene confirmed that C/EBPα can transcriptionally activate the RAP promoter up to 50-fold. Although RAP had no effect on its own promoter by itself, the addition of RAP and C/EBPα together resulted in a threefold increase in activity over that obtained with C/EBPα alone. Importantly, the introduction of exogenous Flag-tagged C/EBPα triggered RAP expression in BCBL-1 cells latently infected with KSHV, as detected by both reverse transcription-PCR and double-label immunofluorescence assay analyses, suggesting the presence of a self-reinforcing loop with C/EBPα and RAP activating each other. The RAP promoter can also be activated 50- to 120-fold by the KSHV lytic-cycle-triggering protein known as replication and transcription activator (RTA). C/EBPα and RTA together cooperated to elevate RAP promoter activity four- to sixfold more than either alone. Furthermore, the addition of RAP, C/EBPα, and RTA in LUC reporter cotransfection assays resulted in 7- to 15-fold more activation than that seen with either C/EBPα or RTA alone. Site-specific mutational analysis of the RAP promoter showed that the strong C/EBP binding site is crucial for C/EBPα-mediated transactivation of the RAP promoter. However, the C/EBP binding site also overlaps the previously reported 16-bp RTA-responsive element (RRE), and the same mutation also both reduced RTA-mediated transactivation and abolished the cooperativity between C/EBPα and RTA. Furthermore, in vitro-translated RTA, although capable of binding directly to the polyadenylated nuclear RNA (PAN) RRE motif, failed to bind to the RAP RRE and interfered with RRE-bound C/EBPα in EMSA experiments. Partial RTA responsiveness but no cooperativity could be transferred to a heterologous promoter containing added consensus C/EBP binding sites. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that all three proteins associated specifically with RAP promoter DNA in vivo and that, when C/EBPα was removed from a tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate-treated JSC-1 primary effusion lymphoma cell lysate, the levels of association of RTA and RAP with the RAP promoter were reduced 3- and 13-fold, respectively. Finally, RTA also proved to physically interact with both C/EBPα and RAP, as assayed both in vitro and by immunoprecipitation. Binding to C/EBPα occurred within the N-terminal DNA binding domain of RTA, and deletion of a 17-amino-acid basic motif of RTA abolished both the C/EBPα and DNA binding activities as well as all RTA transactivation and the cooperativity with C/EBPα. Therefore, we suggest that RTA transactivation of the RAP RRE is mediated by an interaction with DNA-bound C/EBPα but that full activity requires more than just the core C/EBP binding site.
PMCID: PMC140597  PMID: 12477864
5.  The Cellular Peptidyl-Prolyl cis/trans Isomerase Pin1 Regulates Reactivation of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus from Latency 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(1):547-558.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) causes Kaposi's sarcoma and primary effusion lymphoma. KSHV-infected cells are predominantly latent, with a subset undergoing lytic reactivation. Rta is the essential lytic switch protein that reactivates virus by forming transactivation-competent complexes with the Notch effector protein RBP-Jk and promoter DNA. Strikingly, Rta homolog analysis reveals that prolines constitute 17% of conserved residues. Rta is also highly phosphorylated in vivo. We previously demonstrated that proline content determines Rta homotetramerization and function. We hypothesize that proline-directed modifications regulate Rta function by controlling binding to peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerases (PPIases). Cellular PPIase Pin1 binds specifically to phosphoserine- or phosphothreonine-proline (pS/T-P) motifs in target proteins. Pin1 dysregulation is implicated in myriad human cancers and can be subverted by viruses. Our data show that KSHV Rta protein contains potential pS/T-P motifs and binds directly to Pin1. Rta transactivation is enhanced by Pin1 at two delayed early viral promoters in uninfected cells. Pin1's effect, however, suggests a rheostat-like influence on Rta function. We show that in infected cells, endogenous Pin1 is active during reactivation and enhances Rta-dependent early protein expression induced by multiple signals, as well as DNA replication. Surprisingly, ablation of Pin1 activity by the chemical juglone or dominant-negative Pin1 enhanced late gene expression and production of infectious virus, while ectopic Pin1 showed inhibitory effects. Our data thus suggest that Pin1 is a unique, dose-dependent molecular timer that enhances Rta protein function, but inhibits late gene synthesis and virion production, during KSHV lytic reactivation.
PMCID: PMC3911720  PMID: 24173213
6.  Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus K-bZIP Is a Coregulator of K-Rta: Physical Association and Promoter-Dependent Transcriptional Repression 
Journal of Virology  2003;77(2):1441-1451.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a human gammaherpesvirus that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma and B-cell neoplasms. The genomic organization of KSHV is similar to that of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). EBV encodes two transcriptional factors, Rta and Zta, which functionally interact to transactivate EBV genes during replication and reactivation from latency. KSHV encodes a basic leucine zipper protein (K-bZIP), a homologue of EBV Zta, and K-Rta, the homologue of EBV Rta. EBV Rta and Zta are strong transcriptional transactivators. Although there is ample evidence that K-Rta is a potent transactivator, the role of K-bZIP as a transcriptional factor is much less clear. In this study, we report that K-bZIP modulates K-Rta function. We show that K-bZIP directly interacts with K-Rta in vivo and in vitro. This association is specific, requiring the basic domain (amino acids 122 to 189) of K-bZIP and a specific region (amino acids 499 to 550) of K-Rta, and can be detected with K-bZIP and K-Rta endogenously expressed in BCBL-1 cells treated with tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate. The functional relevance of this association was revealed by the observation that K-bZIP represses the transactivation of the ORF57 promoter by K-Rta in a dose-dependent manner. K-bZIP lacking the interaction domain fails to repress K-Rta-mediated transactivation; this finding attests to the specificity of the repression. Interestingly, this repression is not observed for the promoter of polyadenylated nuclear (PAN) RNA, another target of K-Rta; thus, repression is promoter dependent. Finally, we provide evidence that the modulation of K-Rta by K-bZIP also occurs in vivo during reactivation of the viral genome in BCBL-1 cells. When K-bZIP is overexpressed in BCBL-1 cells, the level of expression of ORF57 but not PAN RNA is repressed. These data support the model that one function of K-bZIP is to modulate the activity of the transcriptional transactivator K-Rta.
PMCID: PMC140808  PMID: 12502859
7.  Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus K-Rta Exhibits SUMO-Targeting Ubiquitin Ligase (STUbL) Like Activity and Is Essential for Viral Reactivation 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(8):e1003506.
The small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) is a protein that regulates a wide variety of cellular processes by covalent attachment of SUMO moieties to a diverse array of target proteins. Sumoylation also plays an important role in the replication of many viruses. Previously, we showed that Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) encodes a SUMO-ligase, K-bZIP, which catalyzes sumoylation of host and viral proteins. We report here that this virus also encodes a gene that functions as a SUMO-targeting ubiquitin-ligase (STUbL) which preferentially targets sumoylated proteins for degradation. K-Rta, the major transcriptional factor which turns on the entire lytic cycle, was recently found to have ubiquitin ligase activity toward a selected set of substrates. We show in this study that K-Rta contains multiple SIMs (SUMO interacting motif) and binds SUMOs with higher affinity toward SUMO-multimers. Like RNF4, the prototypic cellular STUbL, K-Rta degrades SUMO-2/3 and SUMO-2/3 modified proteins, including promyelocytic leukemia (PML) and K-bZIP. PML-NBs (nuclear bodies) or ND-10 are storage warehouses for sumoylated proteins, which negatively regulate herpesvirus infection, as part of the intrinsic immune response. Herpesviruses have evolved different ways to degrade or disperse PML bodies, and KSHV utilizes K-Rta to inhibit PML-NBs formation. This process depends on K-Rta's ability to bind SUMO, as a K-Rta SIM mutant does not effectively degrade PML. Mutations in the K-Rta Ring finger-like domain or SIM significantly inhibited K-Rta transactivation activity in reporter assays and in the course of viral reactivation. Finally, KSHV with a mutation in the Ring finger-like domain or SIM of K-Rta replicates poorly in culture, indicating that reducing SUMO-conjugates in host cells is important for viral replication. To our knowledge, this is the first virus which encodes both a SUMO ligase and a SUMO-targeting ubiquitin ligase that together may generate unique gene regulatory programs.
Author Summary
Protein modification by SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier), like phosphorylation, is now considered to be an important biochemical signal involved in nearly all cellular processes. Not surprisingly, it is also implicated in viral replication and host immune response. Timely turning on and off of SUMO signaling on viral and host proteins are important for virus to advance its replication. We previously described the identification of a viral SUMO E3 ligase encoded by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), which couples SUMO to recipient proteins. Here we report the discovery of a SUMO-targeting E3 ubiquitin ligase (STUbL) like function, also encoded by this virus. K-Rta preferentially degrades sumoylated proteins such as PML (promyelocytic leukemia) which negatively regulates viral replication. KSHV K-Rta is well recognized as a strong transcriptional factor and a trigger for viral reactivation. Recombinant KSHVs defective in reducing cellular SUMO conjugates are significantly compromised in their reactivation activity. Our finding not only uncovers a novel function of the transcriptional factor, K-Rta, but also points to the importance of dynamic regulation of the SUMO environment in herpesvirus replication.
PMCID: PMC3749962  PMID: 23990779
8.  Activation of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) by Inhibitors of Class III Histone Deacetylases: Identification of Sirtuin 1 as a Regulator of the KSHV Life Cycle 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(11):6355-6367.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) establishes persistent latent infection in immunocompetent hosts. Disruption of KSHV latency results in viral lytic replication, which promotes the development of KSHV-related malignancies in immunocompromised individuals. While inhibitors of classes I and II histone deacetylases (HDACs) potently reactivate KSHV from latency, the role of class III HDAC sirtuins (SIRTs) in KSHV latency remains unclear. Here, we examined the effects of inhibitors of SIRTs, nicotinamide (NAM) and sirtinol, on KSHV reactivation from latency. Treatment of latently KSHV-infected cells with NAM or sirtinol induced transcripts and proteins of the master lytic transactivator RTA (ORF50), early lytic genes ORF57 and ORF59, and late lytic gene ORF65 and increased the production of infectious virions. NAM increased the acetylation of histones H3 and H4 as well as the level of the active histone H3 trimethyl Lys4 (H3K4me3) mark but decreased the level of the repressive histone H3 trimethyl Lys27 (H3K27me3) mark in the RTA promoter. Consistent with these results, we detected SIRT1 binding to the RTA promoter. Importantly, knockdown of SIRT1 was sufficient to increase the expression of KSHV lytic genes. Accordingly, the level of the H3K4me3 mark in the RTA promoter was increased following SIRT1 knockdown, while that of the H3K27me3 mark was decreased. Furthermore, SIRT1 interacted with RTA and inhibited RTA transactivation of its own promoter and that of its downstream target, the viral interleukin-6 gene. These results indicate that SIRT1 regulates KSHV latency by inhibiting different stages of viral lytic replication and link the cellular metabolic state with the KSHV life cycle.
IMPORTANCE Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the causal agent of several malignancies, including Kaposi's sarcoma, commonly found in immunocompromised patients. While latent infection is required for the development of KSHV-induced malignancies, viral lytic replication also promotes disease progression. However, the mechanism controlling KSHV latent versus lytic replication remains unclear. In this study, we found that class III histone deacetylases (HDACs), also known as SIRTs, whose activities are linked to the cellular metabolic state, mediate KSHV replication. Inhibitors of SIRTs can reactivate KSHV from latency. SIRTs mediate KSHV latency by epigenetically silencing a key KSHV lytic replication activator, RTA. We found that one of the SIRTs, SIRT1, binds to the RTA promoter to mediate KSHV latency. Knockdown of SIRT1 is sufficient to induce epigenetic remodeling and KSHV lytic replication. SIRT1 also interacts with RTA and inhibits RTA's transactivation function, preventing the expression of its downstream genes. Our results indicate that SIRTs regulate KSHV latency by inhibiting different stages of viral lytic replication and link the cellular metabolic state with the KSHV life cycle.
PMCID: PMC4093851  PMID: 24672028
9.  Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus RTA Promotes Degradation of the Hey1 Repressor Protein through the Ubiquitin Proteasome Pathway▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(13):6727-6738.
The Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) replication and transcription activator (RTA) protein regulates the latent-lytic switch by transactivating a variety of KSHV lytic and cellular promoters. RTA is a novel E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets a number of transcriptional repressor proteins for degradation by the ubiquitin proteasome pathway. Herein, we show that RTA interacts with the cellular transcriptional repressor protein Hey1. We demonstrate that Hey1 is a target for RTA-mediated ubiquitination and is subsequently degraded by the proteasome. Moreover, a Cys-plus-His-rich region within RTA is important for RTA-mediated degradation of Hey1. We confirm that Hey1 represses the RTA promoter and, furthermore, show that Hey1 binds to the RTA promoter. An interaction was observed between Hey1 and the corepressor mSin3A, and this interaction was abolished in the presence of RTA. Additionally, mSin3A associated with the RTA promoter in nonreactivated, but not reactivated, BCBL1 cells. Small interfering RNA knockdown of Hey1 in HEK 293T cells latently infected with the recombinant virus rKSHV.219 led to increased levels of RTA expression upon reactivation but was insufficient to induce complete lytic reactivation. These results suggest that other additional transcriptional repressors are also important in maintenance of KSHV latency. Taken together, our results suggest that Hey1 has a contributory role in the maintenance of KSHV latency and that disruption of the Hey1 repressosome by RTA-targeted degradation may be one step in the mechanism to regulate lytic reactivation.
PMCID: PMC2698570  PMID: 19369342
10.  Augmented O-GlcNAc Signaling Attenuates Oxidative Stress and Calcium Overload in Cardiomyocytes 
Amino acids  2010;40(3):895-911.
O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is an inducible, dynamically cycling and reversible post-translational modification of Ser/Thr residues of nucleocytoplasmic and mitochondrial proteins. We recently discovered that O-GlcNAcylation confers cytoprotection in the heart via attenuating the formation of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) and the subsequent loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Because Ca2+ overload and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation are prominent features of post-ischemic injury and favor mPTP formation, we ascertained whether O-GlcNAcylation mitigates mPTP formation via its effects on Ca2+ overload and ROS generation. Subjecting neonatal rat cardiac myocytes (NRCMs, n>/=6/group) to hypoxia, or mice (n>/=4/group) to myocardial ischemia reduced O-GlcNAcylation, which later increased during reoxygenation/reperfusion. NRCMs (n>/=4/group) infected with an adenovirus carrying nothing (control), adenoviral O-GlcNAc transferase (adds O-GlcNAc to proteins, AdOGT), adenoviral O-GlcNAcase (removes O-GlcNAc to proteins, AdOGA), Vehicle, or PUGNAc (blocks OGA; increases O-GlcNAc levels), were subjected to hypoxia-reoxygenation or H2O2 and changes in Ca2+ levels (via Fluo-4AM and Rhod-2AM), ROS (via DCF), and mPTP formation (via calcein-MitoTracker Red colocalization) were assessed using time-lapse fluorescence microscopy. Both OGT and OGA overexpression did not significantly (p>0.05) alter baseline Ca2+ or ROS levels. However, AdOGT significantly (p<0.05) attenuated both hypoxia and oxidative stress-induced Ca2+ overload and ROS generation. Additionally, OGA inhibition mitigated both H2O2-induced Ca2+ overload and ROS generation. Although AdOGA exacerbated both hypoxia and H2O2-induced ROS generation, it had no effect on H2O2-induced Ca2+ overload. We conclude that inhibition of Ca2+ overload and ROS generation (inducers of mPTP) might be one mechanism through which O-GlcNAcylation reduces ischemia/hypoxia-mediated mPTP formation.
PMCID: PMC3118675  PMID: 20798965
11.  Epstein-Barr Virus LF2 Protein Regulates Viral Replication by Altering Rta Subcellular Localization▿†  
Journal of Virology  2010;84(19):9920-9931.
The switch from Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent infection to lytic replication is governed by two viral transactivators, Zta and Rta. We previously reported that the EBV protein LF2 binds Rta, inhibits Rta promoter activation, and blocks EBV replication in cells. In addition, LF2 induces SUMO2/3 modification of Rta. We now show that this modification occurs at four lysines within the Rta activation domain (426, 446, 517, and 530) and that sumoylation of Rta is not essential for its repression. Coexpression studies demonstrated that Rta is sequestered to the extranuclear cytoskeleton in the presence of LF2. We mapped the LF2 binding site to Rta amino acids (aa) 476 to 519 and showed that LF2 binding is critical for Rta relocalization and repression. The core of this binding site, Rta aa 500 to 526, confers LF2-mediated relocalization and repression onto the artificial transcription factor GAL4-VP16. Mutational analysis of LF2 provided further evidence that Rta redistribution is essential for repression. Rta localization changes during replication of the LF2-positive P3HR1 genome, but not during replication of the LF2-negative B95-8 genome. BLRF2 protein expression was decreased and delayed in P3HR1 cells compared with B95-8 cells, consistent with reduced Rta activity. By contrast, BMRF1 expression, regulated primarily by Zta, did not differ significantly between the two cell lines. Our results support a model in which LF2 regulates EBV replication by binding to Rta and redistributing it out of the nucleus.
PMCID: PMC2937793  PMID: 20631124
12.  Rta of Murine Gammaherpesvirus 68 Reactivates the Complete Lytic Cycle from Latency 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(8):3659-3667.
Herpesviruses are characterized as having two distinct life cycle phases: lytic replication and latency. The mechanisms of latency establishment and maintenance, as well as the switch from latency to lytic replication, are poorly understood. Human gammaherpesviruses, including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8), also known as Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), are associated with lymphoproliferative diseases and several human tumors. Unfortunately, the lack of cell lines to support efficient de novo productive infection and restricted host ranges of EBV and HHV-8 make it difficult to explore certain important biological questions. Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68, or γHV68) can establish de novo lytic infection in a variety of cell lines and is also able to infect laboratory mice, offering an ideal model with which to study various aspects of gammaherpesvirus infection. Here we describe in vitro studies of the mechanisms of the switch from latency to lytic replication of MHV-68. An MHV-68 gene, rta (replication and transcription activator), encoded primarily by open reading frame 50 (ORF50), is homologous to the rta genes of other gammaherpesviruses, including HHV-8 and EBV. HHV-8 and EBV Rta have been shown to play central roles in viral reactivation from latency. We first studied the kinetics of MHV-68 rta gene transcription during de novo lytic infection. MHV-68 rta was predominantly expressed as a 2-kb immediate-early transcript. Sequence analysis of MHV-68 rta cDNA revealed that an 866-nucleotide intron 5′ of ORF50 was removed to create the Rta ORF of 583 amino acids. To test the functions of MHV-68 Rta in reactivation, a plasmid expressing Rta was transfected into a latently infected cell line, S11E, which was established from a B-cell lymphoma in an MHV-68-infected mouse. Rta induced expression of viral early and late genes, lytic replication of viral DNA, and production of infectious viral particles. We conclude that Rta alone is able to disrupt latency, activate viral lytic replication, and drive the lytic cycle to completion. This study indicates that MHV-68 provides a valuable model for investigating regulation of the balance between latency and lytic replication in vitro and in vivo.
PMCID: PMC111876  PMID: 10729142
13.  CCAAT/Enhancer-Binding Protein-α Is Induced during the Early Stages of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) Lytic Cycle Reactivation and Together with the KSHV Replication and Transcription Activator (RTA) Cooperatively Stimulates the Viral RTA, MTA, and PAN Promoters 
Journal of Virology  2003;77(17):9590-9612.
During the immediate-early (IE) phase of reactivation from latency, the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) replication and transcription activator protein (RTA) (or ORF50) is thought to be the most critical trigger that upregulates expression of many downstream viral lytic cycle genes, including the delayed-early (DE) gene encoding the replication-associated protein (RAP) (or K8). RAP physically interacts with and stabilizes the cellular transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-α (C/EBPα), leading to upregulated expression of the cellular C/EBPα and p21CIP-1 proteins followed by G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. Furthermore, RTA also interacts with C/EBPα, and both RAP and RTA cooperate with C/EBPα to activate the RAP promoter through binding to a strong proximal C/EBP binding site that also serves as an RTA-responsive element (RRE). Here we show that C/EBPα also activates the IE RTA promoter in transient-cotransfection reporter gene assays and that addition of either RTA or RAP enhances the effect. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay and deletion analysis revealed three C/EBP binding sites that mediate cooperative transactivation of the RTA promoter by C/EBPα and RTA. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay results showed that the endogenous C/EBPα, RTA, and RAP proteins all associate with RTA promoter sequences in tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate-induced primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cells. Induction of endogenous KSHV RTA mRNA in PEL cells by exogenously introduced C/EBPα was confirmed by reverse transcription-PCR analysis and by double-label indirect immunofluorescence assays. Reciprocally, expression of exogenous RTA also led to an increase of endogenous C/EBPα expression that could be detected by Western immunoblot assays even in KSHV-negative DG75 cells. Cotransfected RTA also increased positive C/EBPα autoregulation of the C/EBPα promoter in transient-cotransfection reporter gene assays. Finally, C/EBPα proved to strongly activate the promoters of two other KSHV DE genes encoding PAN (polyadenylated nuclear) RNA and MTA (ORF57), which was again mediated by C/EBP binding sites that also contribute to RTA activation. Overall, these results support a model in which the cellular transcription factor C/EBPα and RTA:C/EBPα interactions play important roles both upstream and downstream of the two major KSHV regulatory proteins RTA and RAP during the early stages of lytic cycle reactivation.
PMCID: PMC187379  PMID: 12915572
14.  Identification of a Cellular Protein That Interacts and Synergizes with the RTA (ORF50) Protein of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus in Transcriptional Activation 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(24):11961-11973.
Lytic reactivation of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), or human herpesvirus 8, from latency requires transcriptional transactivation by the viral protein RTA encoded by the ORF50 gene. Very little is known about how RTA functions and the cellular factors that may be involved in its transactivation function. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we have identified a human cellular protein that can interact with KSHV RTA. The cellular protein, referred to as the human hypothetical protein MGC2663 by GenBank, is encoded by human chromosome 19. This protein is 554 amino acids (aa) in size and displays sequence similarity with members of the Krueppel-associated box–zinc finger proteins (KRAB-ZFPs). MGC2663 expression could be detected in all primate cell lines tested, and its expression level was neither stimulated nor inhibited by RTA. MGC2663 specifically synergizes with RTA to activate viral transcription, and overexpression of MGC2663 in the presence of RTA further enhances RTA transactivation of several viral promoters that were identified as targets for RTA. Coimmunoprecipitation and pull-down assays further demonstrated that MGC2663 interacts with RTA both in vivo and in vitro, and the N-terminal 273 aa of KSHV RTA and the potential zinc finger domain of MGC2663 are required for their interaction. Our results indicate that this novel human cellular protein, MGC2663, named K-RBP (KSHV RTA binding protein) due to its RTA binding feature, specifically interacts with the KSHV RTA protein and functions as a cellular RTA cofactor to activate viral gene expression. Though its normal cellular function needs to be further studied, K-RBP may play a significant role in mediating RTA transactivation in vivo.
PMCID: PMC116091  PMID: 11711586
15.  O-GlcNAcylation: A New Cancer Hallmark? 
O-linked N-acetylglucosaminylation (O-GlcNAcylation) is a reversible post-translational modification consisting in the addition of a sugar moiety to serine/threonine residues of cytosolic or nuclear proteins. Catalyzed by O-GlcNAc-transferase (OGT) and removed by O-GlcNAcase, this dynamic modification is dependent on environmental glucose concentration. O-GlcNAcylation regulates the activities of a wide panel of proteins involved in almost all aspects of cell biology. As a nutrient sensor, O-GlcNAcylation can relay the effects of excessive nutritional intake, an important cancer risk factor, on protein activities and cellular functions. Indeed, O-GlcNAcylation has been shown to play a significant role in cancer development through different mechanisms. O-GlcNAcylation and OGT levels are increased in different cancers (breast, prostate, colon…) and vary during cell cycle progression. Modulating their expression or activity can alter cancer cell proliferation and/or invasion. Interestingly, major oncogenic factors have been shown to be directly O-GlcNAcylated (p53, MYC, NFκB, β-catenin…). Furthermore, chromatin dynamics is modulated by O-GlcNAc. DNA methylation enzymes of the Tet family, involved epigenetic alterations associated with cancer, were recently found to interact with and target OGT to multi-molecular chromatin-remodeling complexes. Consistently, histones are subjected to O-GlcNAc modifications which regulate their function. Increasing number of evidences point out the central involvement of O-GlcNAcylation in tumorigenesis, justifying the attention received as a potential new approach for cancer treatment. However, comprehension of the underlying mechanism remains at its beginnings. Future challenge will be to address directly the role of O-GlcNAc-modified residues in oncogenic-related proteins to eventually propose novel strategies to alter cancer development and/or progression.
PMCID: PMC3740238  PMID: 23964270
O-glycosylation; O-GlcNAc; post-translational modification; cancer; metastasis; cell cycle; epigenetics; transcription factors
16.  Cellular Corepressor TLE2 Inhibits Replication-and-Transcription- Activator-Mediated Transactivation and Lytic Reactivation of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;84(4):2047-2062.
Replication and transcription activator (RTA) encoded by open reading frame 50 (ORF50) of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is essential and sufficient to initiate lytic reactivation. RTA activates its target genes through direct binding with high affinity to its responsive elements or by interaction with cellular factors, such as RBP-Jκ, Ap-1, C/EBP-α, and Oct-1. In this study, we identified transducin-like enhancer of split 2 (TLE2) as a novel RTA binding protein by using yeast two-hybrid screening of a human spleen cDNA library. The interaction between TLE2 and RTA was confirmed by glutathione S-transferase (GST) binding and coimmunoprecipitation assays. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that TLE2 and RTA were colocalized in the same nuclear compartment in KSHV-infected cells. This interaction recruited TLE2 to RTA bound to its recognition sites on DNA and repressed RTA auto-activation and transactivation activity. Moreover, TLE2 also inhibited the induction of lytic replication and virion production driven by RTA. We further showed that the Q (Gln-rich), SP (Ser-Pro-rich), and WDR (Trp-Asp repeat) domains of TLE2 and the Pro-rich domain of RTA were essential for this interaction. RBP-Jκ has been shown previously to bind to the same Pro-rich domain of RTA, and this binding can be subject to competition by TLE2. In addition, TLE2 can form a complex with RTA to access the cognate DNA sequence of the RTA-responsive element at different promoters. Intriguingly, the transcription level of TLE2 could be upregulated by RTA during the lytic reactivation process. In conclusion, we identified a new RTA binding protein, TLE2, and demonstrated that TLE2 inhibited replication and transactivation mediated by RTA. This provides another potentially important mechanism for maintenance of KSHV viral latency through interaction with a host protein.
PMCID: PMC2812399  PMID: 19939918
17.  Function of Rta Is Essential for Lytic Replication of Murine Gammaherpesvirus 68 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(19):9262-9273.
Rta, encoded primarily by open reading frame 50, is well conserved among gammaherpesviruses. It has been shown that the Rta proteins of Epstein Barr virus (EBV), Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV, or HHV-8), and murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68; also referred to as γHV68) play an important role in viral reactivation from latency. However, the role of Rta during productive de novo infection has not been characterized in gammaherpesviruses. Since there are cell lines that can support efficient productive de novo infection by MHV-68 but not EBV or KSHV, we examined whether MHV-68 Rta plays a role in initiating viral lytic replication in productively infected cells. Rta, functioning as a transcriptional activator, can activate the viral promoter of early lytic genes. The amino acid sequence alignments of the Rta homologues suggest that the organizations of their functional domains are similar, with the DNA binding and dimerization domains at the N terminus and the trans-activation domain at the C terminus. We constructed two mutants of MHV-68 Rta, Rd1 and Rd2, with deletions of 112 and 243 amino acids from the C terminus, respectively. Rd1 and Rd2 could no longer trans-activate the promoter of MHV-68 gene 57, consistent with the deletions of their trans-activation domains at the C terminus. Furthermore, Rd1 and Rd2 were able to function as dominant-negative mutants, inhibiting trans-activation of wild-type Rta. To study whether Rd1 and Rd2 blocked viral lytic replication, purified virion DNA was cotransfected with Rd1 or Rd2 into fibroblasts. Expression of viral lytic proteins was greatly suppressed, and the yield of infectious viruses was reduced up to 104-fold. Stable cell lines constitutively expressing Rd2 were established and infected with MHV-68. Transcription of the immediate-early gene, rta, and the early gene, tk, of the virus was reduced in these cell lines. The presence of Rd2 also led to attenuation of viral lytic protein expression and virion production. The ability of Rta dominant-negative mutants to inhibit productive infection suggests that the trans-activation function of Rta is essential for MHV-68 lytic replication. We propose that a single viral protein, Rta, governs the initiation of MHV-68 lytic replication during both reactivation and productive de novo infection.
PMCID: PMC114493  PMID: 11533188
18.  O-Linked β-N-Acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc): Extensive Crosstalk with Phosphorylation to Regulate Signaling and Transcription in Response to Nutrients and Stress 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2009;1800(2):96.
Since its discovery in the early 1980s, O-linked-β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc), a single sugar modification on the hydroxyl group of serine or threonine residues, has changed our views of protein glycosylation. While other forms of protein glycosylation modify proteins on the cell surface or within luminal compartments of the secretory machinery, O-GlcNAc modifies myriad nucleocytoplasmic proteins. GlcNAcylated proteins are involved in transcription, ubiquitination, cell cycle, and stress responses. GlcNAcylation is similar to protein phosphorylation in terms of stoichiometry, localization and cycling. To date, only two enzymes are known to regulate GlcNAcylation in mammals: O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), which catalyzes the addition of O-GlcNAc, and β-N-acetylglucosaminidase (O-GlcNAcase), a neutral hexosaminidase responsible for O-GlcNAc removal. OGT and O-GlcNAcase are regulated by RNA splicing, by nutrients, and by post-translational modifications. Their specificities are controlled by many transiently associated targeting subunits. As methods for detecting O-GlcNAc have improved our understanding of O-GlcNAc's functions has grown rapidly.
Scope of Review
In this review, the functions of GlcNAcylation in regulating cellular processes, its extensive crosstalk with protein phosphorylation, and regulation of OGT and O-GlcNAcase will be explored.
Major Conclusions
GlcNAcylation rivals phosphorylation in terms of its abundance, protein distribution and its cycling on and off of proteins. GlcNAcylation has extensive crosstalk with phosphorylation to regulate signaling, transcription and the cytoskeleton in response to nutrients and stress.
General Significance
Abnormal crosstalk between GlcNAcylation and phosphorylation underlies dysregulation in diabetes, including glucose toxicity, and defective GlcNAcylation is involved in neurodegenerative disease and cancer and most recently in AIDS.
PMCID: PMC2815129  PMID: 19647786
O-GlcNAc; GlcNAcylation; Phosphorylation; OGT; OGA; Stress; glucosamine; Alzheimer's Disease; signaling; diabetes; O-GlcNAcase; O-GlcNAc transferase
19.  Genome-wide identification of binding sites for Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus lytic switch protein, RTA 
Virology  2009;386(2):290-302.
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) replication and transcription activator (RTA) encoded by ORF50 is a lytic switch protein for viral reactivation from latency. The expression of RTA activates the expression of downstream viral genes, and is necessary for triggering the full viral lytic program. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation assay coupled with a KSHV whole-genome tiling microarray (ChIP-on-chip) approach, we identified a set of 19 RTA binding sites in the KSHV genome in a KSHV-infected cell line BCBL-1. These binding sites are located in the regions of promoters, introns, or exons of KSHV genes including ORF8, ORFK4.1, ORFK5, PAN, ORF16, ORF29, ORF45, ORF50, ORFK8, ORFK10.1, ORF59, ORFK12, ORF71/72, ORFK14/ORF74, and ORFK15, the two origins of lytic replication OriLyt-L and OriLyt-R, and the microRNA cluster. We confirmed these RTA binding sites by ChIP and quantitative real-time PCR. We further mapped the RTA binding site in the first intron of the ORFK15 gene, and determined that it is RTA-responsive. The ORFK15 RTA binding sequence TTCCAGGAA TTCCTGGAA consists of a palindromic structure of two tandem repeats, of which each itself is also an imperfect inverted repeat. Reporter assay and electrophoretic mobility shift assay confirmed the binding of the RTA protein to this sequence in vitro. Sequence alignment with other RTA binding sites identified the RTA consensus binding motif as TTCCAGGAT(N)0–16TTCCTGGGA. Interestingly, most of the identified RTA binding sites contain only half or part of this RTA binding motif. These results suggest the complexity of RTA binding in vivo, and the involvements of other cellular or viral transcription factors during RTA transactivation of target genes.
PMCID: PMC2663009  PMID: 19233445
20.  KSHV Rta Promoter Specification and Viral Reactivation 
Viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens whose biological success depends upon replication and packaging of viral genomes, and transmission of progeny viruses to new hosts. The biological success of herpesviruses is enhanced by their ability to reproduce their genomes without producing progeny viruses or killing the host cells, a process called latency. Latency permits a herpesvirus to remain undetected in its animal host for decades while maintaining the potential to reactivate, or switch, to a productive life cycle when host conditions are conducive to generating viral progeny. Direct interactions between many host and viral molecules are implicated in controlling herpesviral reactivation, suggesting complex biological networks that control the decision. One viral protein that is necessary and sufficient to switch latent Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) into the lytic infection cycle is called K-Rta. K-Rta is a transcriptional activator that specifies promoters by binding DNA directly and interacting with cellular proteins. Among these cellular proteins, binding of K-Rta to RBP-Jk is essential for viral reactivation. In contrast to the canonical model for Notch signaling, RBP-Jk is not uniformly and constitutively bound to the latent KSHV genome, but rather is recruited to DNA by interactions with K-Rta. Stimulation of RBP-Jk DNA binding requires high affinity binding of Rta to repetitive and palindromic “CANT DNA repeats” in promoters, and formation of ternary complexes with RBP-Jk. However, while K-Rta expression is necessary for initiating KSHV reactivation, K-Rta’s role as the switch is inefficient. Many factors modulate K-Rta’s function, suggesting that KSHV reactivation can be significantly regulated post-Rta expression and challenging the notion that herpesviral reactivation is bistable. This review analyzes rapidly evolving research on KSHV K-Rta to consider the role of K-Rta promoter specification in regulating the progression of KSHV reactivation.
PMCID: PMC3278982  PMID: 22347875
KSHV; herpesvirus; reactivation; DNA/protein interactions; DNA binding; RBP-Jk; Rta
21.  O-GlcNAc Cycling Enzymes Associate with the Translational Machinery and Modify Core Ribosomal Proteins 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(12):1922-1936.
At least 20 core ribosome proteins are modified by O-GlcNAc. O-GlcNAcase is localized to the nucleolus and O-GlcNAc transferase is excluded from the nucleolus. Both enzymes associate with active polysomes. Overexpression of OGT disrupts ribosomal subunit homeostasis. Data suggest that O-GlcNAc regulates translation and ribosome biogenesis.
Protein synthesis is globally regulated through posttranslational modifications of initiation and elongation factors. Recent high-throughput studies have identified translation factors and ribosomal proteins (RPs) as substrates for the O-GlcNAc modification. Here we determine the extent and abundance of O-GlcNAcylated proteins in translational preparations. O-GlcNAc is present on many proteins that form active polysomes. We identify twenty O-GlcNAcylated core RPs, of which eight are newly reported. We map sites of O-GlcNAc modification on four RPs (L6, L29, L32, and L36). RPS6, a component of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, follows different dynamics of O-GlcNAcylation than nutrient-induced phosphorylation. We also show that both O-GlcNAc cycling enzymes OGT and OGAse strongly associate with cytosolic ribosomes. Immunofluorescence experiments demonstrate that OGAse is present uniformly throughout the nucleus, whereas OGT is excluded from the nucleolus. Moreover, nucleolar stress only alters OGAse nuclear staining, but not OGT staining. Lastly, adenovirus-mediated overexpression of OGT, but not of OGAse or GFP control, causes an accumulation of 60S subunits and 80S monosomes. Our results not only establish that O-GlcNAcylation extensively modifies RPs, but also suggest that O-GlcNAc play important roles in regulating translation and ribosome biogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2883937  PMID: 20410138
22.  O-GlcNAc-Specific Antibody CTD110.6 Cross-Reacts with N-GlcNAc2-Modified Proteins Induced under Glucose Deprivation 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18959.
Modification of serine and threonine residues in proteins by O-linked β-N-acetylgulcosamine (O-GlcNAc) glycosylation is a feature of many cellular responses to the nutritional state and to stress. O-GlcNAc modification is reversibly regulated by O-linked β-N-acetylgulcosamine transferase (OGT) and β-D-N-acetylgulcosaminase (O-GlcNAcase). O-GlcNAc modification of proteins is dependent on the concentration of uridine 5′-diphospho-N-acetylgulcosamine (UDP-GlcNAc), which is a substrate of OGT and is synthesized via the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway. Immunoblot analysis using the O-GlcNAc-specific antibody CTD110.6 has indicated that glucose deprivation increases protein O-GlcNAcylation in some cancer cells. The mechanism of this paradoxical phenomenon has remained unclear. Here we show that the increased glycosylation induced by glucose deprivation and detected by CTD110.6 antibodies is actually modification by N-GlcNAc2, rather than by O-GlcNAc. We found that this induced glycosylation was not regulated by OGT and O-GlcNAcase, unlike typical O-GlcNAcylation, and it was inhibited by treatment with tunicamycin, an N-glycosylation inhibitor. Proteomics analysis showed that proteins modified by this induced glycosylation were N-GlcNAc2-modified glycoproteins. Furthermore, CTD110.6 antibodies reacted with N-GlcNAc2-modified glycoproteins produced by a yeast strain with a ts-mutant of ALG1 that could not add a mannose residue to dolichol-PP-GlcNAc2. Our results demonstrated that N-GlcNAc2-modified glycoproteins were induced under glucose deprivation and that they cross-reacted with the O-GlcNAc-specific antibody CTD110.6. We therefore propose that the glycosylation status of proteins previously classified as O-GlcNAc-modified proteins according to their reactivity with CTD110.6 antibodies must be re-examined. We also suggest that the repression of mature N-linked glycoproteins due to increased levels of N-GlcNAc2-modifed proteins is a newly recognized pathway for effective use of sugar under stress and deprivation conditions. Further research is needed to clarify the physiological and pathological roles of N-GlcNAc2-modifed proteins.
PMCID: PMC3079744  PMID: 21526146
23.  Impaired vasodilator activity in DOCA-salt hypertension is associated with increased protein O-GlcNAcylation 
Hypertension  2009;53(2):166-174.
Hyperglycemia, which increases O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) proteins, leads to changes in vascular reactivity. Since vascular dysfunction is a key feature of arterial hypertension, we hypothesized that vessels from DOCA-salt rats exhibit increased O-GlcNAc-proteins, which is associated with increased reactivity to constrictor stimuli. Aortas from DOCA rats exhibited increased contraction to phenylephrine (PE) [Emax (mN)= 17.6±4 vs. 10.7±2 control, n=6] and decreased relaxation to acetylcholine [ACh (%)= 47.6±6 vs. 73.2±10 control, n=8] vs. arteries from uninephrectomized (Uni) rats. O-GlcNAc-protein content was increased in aortas from DOCA rats (arbitrary units= 3.8±0.3 vs. 2.3±0.3 control, n=5). PugNAc (O-GlcNAcase inhibitor, 100µM, 24h) increased vascular O-GlcNAc-proteins, augmented PE vascular reactivity [18.2±2 vs. 10.7±3 vehicle; n=6] and decreased ACh dilation in Uni (41.4±6 vs. 73.2±3 vehicle; n=6), but not in DOCA rats [PE, 16.5±3 vs. 18.6±3 vehicle, n=6; ACh, 44.7±8 vs. 47.6±7 vehicle, n=6]. PugNAc did not change total vascular eNOS levels, but reduced eNOSSer-1177 and AktSer-473 phosphorylation (p<0.05). Aortas from DOCA rats also exhibited decreased levels of eNOSSer-1177 and AktSer-473 (p<0.05), but no changes in total eNOS or Akt. Vascular O-GlcNAc-modified eNOS was increased in DOCA rats. Blood glucose was similar in DOCA and Uni rats. Expression of OGT, GFAT and O-GlcNAcase, enzymes that directly modulate O-GlcNAcylation, was decreased in arteries from DOCA rats (p<0.05). This is the first study showing that O-GlcNAcylation modulates vascular reactivity in normoglycemic conditions and that vascular O-GlcNAc-proteins are increased in DOCA-salt hypertension. Modulation of increased vascular O-GlcNAcylation may represent a novel therapeutic approach in mineralocorticoid hypertension.
PMCID: PMC2712827  PMID: 19139380
O-Linked N-acetylglucosaminylation (O-GlcNAc); DOCA-salt; eNOS; vascular reactivity
24.  Protein O-GlcNAcylation is a Novel Cytoprotective Signal in Cardiac Stem Cells 
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)  2012;31(4):765-775.
Clinical trials demonstrate the regenerative potential of cardiac stem cell (CSC) therapy in the post-infarcted heart. Despite these encouraging preliminary clinical findings, the basic biology of these cells remains largely unexplored. The principal requirement for cell transplantation is to effectively prime them for survival within the unfavorable environment of the infarcted myocardium. In the adult mammalian heart, the β-O-linkage of N-acetylglucosamine (i.e., O-GlcNAc) to proteins is a unique post-translational modification that confers cardioprotection from various otherwise lethal stressors. It is not known whether this signaling system exists in cardiac stem cells. In the present study, we demonstrate that protein O-GlcNAcylation is an inducible stress response in adult murine Sca-1+/lin− CSCs and exerts an essential pro-survival role. Post-hypoxic CSCs responded by time-dependently increasing protein O-GlcNAcylation upon reoxygenation. We utilized pharmacological interventions for loss- and gain-of-function, i.e., enzymatic inhibition of OGT (adds the O-GlcNAc modification to proteins) by TT04, or inhibition of OGA (removes O-GlcNAc) by thiamet-G (ThG). Reduction in the O-GlcNAc signal (via TT04, or OGT gene deletion using Cre-mediated recombination) significantly sensitized CSCs to post-hypoxic injury, whereas augmenting O-GlcNAc levels (via ThG) enhanced cell survival. Diminished O-GlcNAc levels render CSCs more susceptible to the onset of post-hypoxic apoptotic processes via elevated PARP cleavage due to enhanced caspase-3/7 activation, whereas promoting O-GlcNAcylation can serve as a pre-emptive anti-apoptotic signal regulating the survival of CSCs. Thus, we report the primary demonstration of protein O-GlcNAcylation as an important pro-survival signal in CSCs, which could enhance CSC survival prior to in vivo autologous transfer.
PMCID: PMC3606688  PMID: 23335157
Adult stem cells; Cardiac; Cell biology; Hypoxia; Tissue-specific stem cells
25.  Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus/Human Herpesvirus 8 Transcriptional Activator Rta Is an Oligomeric DNA-Binding Protein That Interacts with Tandem Arrays of Phased A/T-Trinucleotide Motifs 
Journal of Virology  2003;77(17):9399-9411.
Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV)/human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) encodes an immediate early transcriptional activator, Rta, which mediates viral reactivation from latency and lytic viral replication. Here we report the purification and characterizations of HHV-8 Rta and its interaction with Rta-responsive DNA elements. The Rta response element (RtaRE) in the promoter of the KSHV/HHV-8 K8 open reading frame was mapped to a 47-bp sequence (RtaRE1) and a 60-bp sequence (RtaRE2) upstream of the TATA motif. A comparison of the K8 RtaREs with other viral RtaREs revealed a pattern of multiple A/T triplets spaced with a periodicity of 10 or 20 bp. Substitutions of the in-phase A/T trinucleotides of the RtaRE1 with G/C bases greatly diminished Rta responsiveness and Rta binding. By contrast, base substitutions in an out-of-phase A/T-trinucleotide sequence had no effect. Importantly, multimers of (A/T)3N7 and N5(A/T)5N6(A/T)4 motifs supported a strong Rta response in a copy number-dependent manner. No specific sequence motifs in the spacer regions could be discerned. Potent Rta response, however, was obtained with phased A/T trinucleotides with 7-bp spacers of arbitrary sequences with high G/C content. Lengthening of the phased A/T motifs or lowering of the G/C content of the spacers resulted in a reduction in Rta response. Finally, Escherichia coli-derived Rta is an oligomer of 440 kDa in molecular size and binds RtaRE as an oligomer. These results support a model of Rta transactivation wherein the subunits of the Rta oligomer make multiple contacts with a tandem array of phased A/T triplets in the configuration of (A/T)3(G/C)7 repeats.
PMCID: PMC187432  PMID: 12915555

Results 1-25 (749413)