Autophagy is one of two major degradation systems in eukaryotic cells. The degradation mechanism of autophagy is required to maintain the balance between the biosynthetic and catabolic processes and also contributes to defense against invading pathogens. Recent studies suggest that a number of viruses can evade or subvert the host cell autophagic pathway to enhance their own replication. Here, we investigated the effect of autophagy on the KSHV (Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus) life cycle. We found that the inhibition of autophagy reduces KSHV lytic reactivation from latency, and an enhancement of autophagy can be detected during KSHV lytic replication. In addition, RTA (replication and transcription activator), an essential viral protein for KSHV lytic reactivation, is able to enhance the autophagic process, leading to an increase in the number of autophagic vacuoles, an increase in the level of the lipidated LC3 protein, and the formation of autolysosomes. Moreover, the inhibition of autophagy affects RTA-mediated lytic gene expression and viral DNA replication. These results suggest that RTA increases autophagy activation to facilitate KSHV lytic replication. This is the first report demonstrating that autophagy is involved in the lytic reactivation of KSHV.
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), a member of the herpesvirus family, has evolved to establish a long-term, latent infection of cells such that while they carry the viral genome gene expression is highly restricted. Latency is a state of cryptic viral infection associated with genomic persistence in their host and this hallmark of KSHV infection leads to several clinical–epidemiological diseases such as KS, a plasmablastic variant of multicentric Castleman’s disease, and primary effusion lymphoma upon immune suppression of infected hosts. In order to sustain efficient life-long persistency as well as their life cycle, KSHV dedicates a large portion of its genome to encode immunomodulatory proteins that antagonize its host’s immune system. In this review, we will describe our current knowledge of the immune evasion strategies employed by KSHV at distinct stages of its viral life cycle to control the host’s immune system.
KSHV; modulation of immune system; viral evasion strategies
Viral invasion of a host cell triggers immune responses with both innate and adaptive components. The innate immune response involving the induction of type I interferons (alpha and beta interferons [IFN-α and -β]) constitutes the first line of antiviral defenses. The type I IFNs signal the transcription of a group of antiviral effector proteins, the IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), which target distinct viral components and distinct stages of the viral life cycle, aiming to eliminate invading viruses. In the case of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), the etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), a sudden upsurge of type I IFN-mediated innate antiviral signals is seen immediately following both primary de novo infection and viral lytic reactivation from latency. Potent subversion of these responses thus becomes mandatory for the successful establishment of a primary infection following viral entry as well as for efficient viral assembly and egress. This review gives a concise overview of the induction of the type I IFN signaling pathways in response to viral infection and provides a comprehensive understanding of the antagonizing effects exerted by KSHV on type I IFN pathways wielded at various stages of the viral life cycle. Information garnered from this review should result in a better understanding of KSHV biology essential for the development of immunotherapeutic strategies targeted toward KSHV-associated malignancies.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection is associated with the development of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease. We report the establishment of a monocytic cell line latently infected with KSHV (KSHV-THP-1). We profiled viral and cytokine gene expression in the KSHV-THP-1 cells compared to that in uninfected THP-1 cells and found that several genes involved in the host immune response were downregulated during latent infection, including genes for CD80, CD86, and the cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Thus, KSHV minimizes its immunological signature by suppressing key immune response factors, enabling persistent infection and evasion from host detection.
The life cycle of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) consists of latent and lytic replication phases. During latent infection, only a limited number of KSHV genes are expressed. However, this phase of replication is essential for persistent infection, evasion of host immune response, and induction of KSHV-related malignancies. KSHV reactivation from latency produces a wide range of viral products and infectious virions. The resulting de novo infection and viral lytic products modulate diverse cellular pathways and stromal microenvironment, which promote the development of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS). The mechanisms controlling KSHV latency and reactivation are complex, involving both viral and host factors, and are modulated by diverse environmental factors. Here, we review the cellular and molecular basis of KSHV latency and reactivation with a focus on the most recent advancements in the field.
Upon viral infection, the major defense mounted by the host immune system is activation of the interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral pathway that is mediated by IFN regulatory factors (IRFs). In order to complete their life cycle, viruses must modulate the host IFN-mediated immune response. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), a human tumor-inducing herpesvirus, has developed a unique mechanism for antagonizing cellular IFN-mediated antiviral activity by incorporating viral homologs of the cellular IRFs, called vIRFs. Here, we report a novel immune evasion mechanism of KSHV vIRF3 to block cellular IRF7-mediated innate immunity in response to viral infection. KSHV vIRF3 specifically interacts with either the DNA binding domain or the central IRF association domain of IRF7, and this interaction leads to the inhibition of IRF7 DNA binding activity and, therefore, suppression of alpha interferon (IFN-α) production and IFN-mediated immunity. Remarkably, the central 40 amino acids of vIRF3, containing the double α helix motifs, are sufficient not only for binding to IRF7, but also for inhibiting IRF7 DNA binding activity. Consequently, the expression of the double α helix motif-containing peptide effectively suppresses IRF7-mediated IFN-α production. This demonstrates a remarkably efficient means of viral avoidance of host antiviral activity.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) establishes a latent
infection in the host following an acute infection. Reactivation from latency
contributes to the development of KSHV-induced malignancies, which include
Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), the most common cancer in untreated AIDS patients,
primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman's disease. However,
the physiological cues that trigger KSHV reactivation remain unclear. Here, we
show that the reactive oxygen species (ROS) hydrogen peroxide
(H2O2) induces KSHV reactivation from latency through
both autocrine and paracrine signaling. Furthermore, KSHV spontaneous lytic
replication, and KSHV reactivation from latency induced by oxidative stress,
hypoxia, and proinflammatory and proangiogenic cytokines are mediated by
H2O2. Mechanistically, H2O2
induction of KSHV reactivation depends on the activation of mitogen-activated
protein kinase ERK1/2, JNK, and p38 pathways. Significantly,
H2O2 scavengers N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), catalase
and glutathione inhibit KSHV lytic replication in culture. In a mouse model of
KSHV-induced lymphoma, NAC effectively inhibits KSHV lytic replication and
significantly prolongs the lifespan of the mice. These results directly relate
KSHV reactivation to oxidative stress and inflammation, which are physiological
hallmarks of KS patients. The discovery of this novel mechanism of KSHV
reactivation indicates that antioxidants and anti-inflammation drugs could be
promising preventive and therapeutic agents for effectively targeting KSHV
replication and KSHV-related malignancies.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiologic agent of all
clinical forms of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and several other malignancies. The
life cycle of KSHV consists of latent and lytic phases. While establishment of
viral latency is essential for KSHV to evade host immune surveillances, viral
lytic replication promotes KSHV-induced malignancies. In this study, we show
that the reactive oxygen species (ROS) hydrogen peroxide
(H2O2) induces KSHV reactivation from latency.
Furthermore, induction of KSHV reactivation by oxidative stress, hypoxia, and
proinflammatory and proangiogenic cytokines, which are physiological hallmarks
in all clinical forms of KS patients, is mediated by H2O2.
Significantly, antioxidants inhibit H2O2-induced KSHV
lytic replication in culture and in a mouse model of KSHV-induced lymphoma.
These results show that ROS is likely an important physiological cue that
triggers KSHV replication. The discovery of this novel mechanism of KSHV
reactivation indicates that antioxidants and anti-inflammation drugs might be
promising preventive and therapeutic agents for effectively targeting KSHV
replication and KSHV-related malignancies.
The life cycle of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) consists of latent and lytic replication phases. During latent infection, only a limited number of KSHV genes are expressed. However, this phase of replication is essential for persistent infection, evasion of host immune response, and induction of KSHV-related malignancies. KSHV reactivation from latency produces a wide range of viral products and infectious virions. The resulting de novo infection and viral lytic products modulate diverse cellular pathways and stromal microenvironment, which promote the development of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). The mechanisms controlling KSHV latency and reactivation are complex, involving both viral and host factors, and are modulated by diverse environmental factors. Here, we review the cellular and molecular basis of KSHV latency and reactivation with a focus on the most recent advancements in the field.
Using a cell line (termed BCBL-1) derived from a peripheral effusion (body cavity-based) lymphoma latently infected with Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), we recently reported the successful induction of KSHV replication in culture (Renne, R., W. Zhong, B. Herndier, M. McGrath, N. Abbey, D. Kedes, and D. Ganem. 1996. Nat. Med. 2:342-346). Here we report the first use of this system for establishing the susceptibility of KSHV to available antiviral drugs. Latently infected BCBL-1 cells were induced to lytic replication with phorbol esters; such cells secrete large numbers of KSHV virions into the culture medium. We assayed the ability of the antivirals to block KSHV production, as measured by the release of encapsidated viral DNA. The results show that KSHV replication is insensitive to acyclovir (9-[(2-hydroxyethoxy)-methyl]guanine) (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] = 60-80 microM), but sensitive to ganciclovir (9-[1,3-dihydroxy-2-propoxymethyl]guanine) (IC50 = 2.7-4 microM), foscarnet (trisodium phosphonoformate hexahydrate) (IC50 = 80-100 microM), and cidofovir (1-[(S)-3-hydroxy-2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl]cytosine) (IC50 = 0.5-1 microM).
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease. Kaposi's sarcoma is the most common neoplasm among human immunodeficiency virus-positive individuals. Like other herpesviruses, KSHV is able to establish a predominantly latent, life-long infection in its host. The KSHV lytic cycle can be triggered by a number of stimuli that induce the expression of the key lytic switch protein, the replication and transcription activator (RTA) encoded by Orf50. The expression of Rta is necessary and sufficient to trigger the full lytic program resulting in the ordered expression of viral proteins, release of viral progeny, and host cell death. We have characterized an unknown open reading frame, Orf49, which lies adjacent and in the opposite orientation to Orf50. Orf49 is expressed during the KSHV lytic cycle and shows early transcription kinetics. We have mapped the 5′ and 3′ ends of the unspliced Orf49 transcript, which encodes a 30-kDa protein that is localized to both the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Interestingly, we found that Orf49 was able to cooperate with Rta to activate several KSHV lytic promoters containing AP-1 sites. The Orf49-encoded protein was also able to induce transcriptional activation through c-Jun but not the ATF1, ATF2, or CREB transcription factor. We found that Orf49 could induce phosphorylation and activation of the transcription factor c-Jun, the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38. Our data suggest that Orf49 functions to activate the JNK and p38 pathways during the KSHV lytic cycle.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is associated with several different human malignancies, including Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease. KSHV establishes lifelong latency in the host and modulates the host immune response. Innate immunity is critical for controlling de novo viral infection. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are key components of the innate immune system, and they serve as pathogen recognition receptors that stimulate the host antiviral response. In particular, TLR3 has been implicated in RNA virus recognition. Currently, there is no information regarding how KSHV infection modulates any TLR pathway. We report the first evidence that KSHV upregulates TLR3 expression in human monocytes during primary infection. This is also the first demonstration of a human DNA tumor virus upregulating TLR3, a TLR that thus far has been associated with the recognition of RNA viruses. We found that KSHV upregulates the TLR3 pathway and induces TLR3-specific cytokines and chemokines, including beta 1 interferon (IFN-β1) and CXCL10 (IP-10). Small interfering RNAs directed against TLR3 greatly reduced the ability of KSHV to upregulate IFN-β1 and CXCL10 upon infection.
Herpesvirus infection of target cells is a complex process involving multiple host cell surface molecules (receptors) and multiple viral envelope glycoproteins. Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV or HHV-8) infects a variety of in vivo target cells such as endothelial cells, B cells, monocytes, epithelial cells, and keratinocytes. KSHV also infects a diversity of in vitro target cells and establishes in vitro latency in many of these cell types. KSHV interactions with the host cell surface molecules and its mode of entry in the various target cells are critical for the understanding of KSHV pathogenesis. KSHV is the first herpesvirus shown to interact with adherent target cell integrins and this interaction initiates the host cell pre-existing signal pathways that are utilized for successful infection. This chapter discusses the various aspects of the early stage of KSHV infection of target cells, receptors used and issues that need to be clarified, and future directions. The various signaling events triggered by KSHV infection and the potential role of signaling events in the different stages of infection are summarized providing the framework and starting point for further detailed studies essential to fully comprehend the pathogenesis of KSHV.
KSHV; entry; tropism; integrins; signaling; endocytosis; receptors
As obligate intracellular pathogens, viruses depend on the host cell machinery to complete their life cycle. Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is an oncogenic virus causally linked to the development of Kaposi’s sarcoma and several other lymphoproliferative malignancies. KSHV entry into cells is tightly regulated by diverse viral and cellular factors. In particular, KSHV actively engages cellular integrins and ubiquitination pathways for successful infection. Emerging evidence suggests that KSHV hijacks both actin and microtubule cytoskeletons at different phases during entry into cells. Here, we review recent findings on the early events during primary infection of KSHV and its closely related primate homolog rhesus rhadinovirus with highlights on the regulation of cellular cytoskeletons and signaling pathways that are important for this phase of virus life cycle.
Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV); Rhesus Rhadinovirus (RRV); virus entry; endocytosis; actin; microtubule; integrin; cellular signaling; ubiquitination
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a large double-stranded DNA gammaherpesvirus, and the etiological agent for three human malignancies: Kaposi’s sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman’s disease. To establish and maintain infection, KSHV has evolved unique mechanisms to evade the host immune response. Cellular interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are a critical part of the host anti-viral immune response. KSHV encodes four homologs of IRFs, vIRF1–4, which inhibit the activity of their cellular counterparts. vIRF1, 2, and 3 have been shown to interact directly with cellular IRFs. Additionally, the vIRFs have other functions such as modulation of Myc, p53, Notch, transforming growth factor-β, and NF-κB signaling. These activities of vIRFs may contribute to KSHV tumorigenesis. KSHV vIRF1 and vIRF3 have been implicated as oncogenes, making the understanding of KSHV vIRF function vital to understanding KSHV pathogenesis.
KSHV; vIRF; HHV-8
Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) constitute the first line of host defense against bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens. Upon sensing microbial infection, PRRs initiate a cascade of signal transduction and transcriptional events to induce the production of inflammatory cytokines. As a result, many pathogens have evolved to evade PRR detection and activation in order to establish a successful infection. In a recent report, we described how a viral protein named Orf63 encoded by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) inhibits activation of several members of a family of PRRs called NLRs (nucleotide-binding and oligomerization, leucine-rich repeat) by functionally inhibiting the NLR response. This resulted in reduced NLR-dependent pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion and cell death. Moreover, Orf63 was essential in the KSHV lifecycle. Thus, our work suggests KSHV has evolved to encode a functional homolog of NLR proteins in an effort to suppress the host inflammatory response.
herpesvirus; KSHV; inflammasome; NLRP1; NLRP3; NOD2; Orf63
Like cancer cells, virally infected cells have dramatically altered metabolic requirements. We analyzed global metabolic changes induced by latent infection with an oncogenic virus, Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). KSHV is the etiologic agent of Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS), the most common tumor of AIDS patients. Approximately one-third of the nearly 200 measured metabolites were altered following latent infection of endothelial cells by KSHV, including many metabolites of anabolic pathways common to most cancer cells. KSHV induced pathways that are commonly altered in cancer cells including glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, amino acid production and fatty acid synthesis. Interestingly, over half of the detectable long chain fatty acids detected in our screen were significantly increased by latent KSHV infection. KSHV infection leads to the elevation of metabolites involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, not degradation from phospholipids, and leads to increased lipid droplet organelle formation in the infected cells. Fatty acid synthesis is required for the survival of latently infected endothelial cells, as inhibition of key enzymes in this pathway led to apoptosis of infected cells. Addition of palmitic acid to latently infected cells treated with a fatty acid synthesis inhibitor protected the cells from death indicating that the products of this pathway are essential. Our metabolomic analysis of KSHV-infected cells provides insight as to how oncogenic viruses can induce metabolic alterations common to cancer cells. Furthermore, this analysis raises the possibility that metabolic pathways may provide novel therapeutic targets for the inhibition of latent KSHV infection and ultimately KS tumors.
In recent years there has been a resurgence in the study of metabolic changes in tumor cells. To determine if an oncogenic virus alters similar metabolic pathways as cancer cells, we measured the levels of a large number of metabolites in endothelial cells infected with Kaposi?s Sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). KSHV is the etiologic agent of Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS), the most common tumor of AIDS patients world wide. Latent KSHV infection of endothelial cells altered a significant proportion of the host cell metabolites. Many metabolic pathways that are altered in most tumor cells were also altered by KSHV. In particular, KSHV upregulated fatty acid synthesis, a pathway that provides membrane material and metabolites critical for cell proliferation. Inhibitors of fatty acid synthesis kill many types of tumor cells and we found that these inhibitors led to death of cells latently infected with KSHV. In summary, we found that a directly oncogenic virus alters the same host metabolic pathways that are dysregulated in many cancer cells and that inhibition of these pathways can be used to kill off infected cells, thereby providing novel therapeutic targets for KSHV and ultimately KS tumors.
Emmprin is a multifunctional glycoprotein expressed by cancer cells and stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment. Through both direct effects within tumor cells and promotion of tumor-stroma interactions, emmprin induces tumor cell invasiveness and regional angiogenesis. The Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a common etiology of cancers arising in the setting of immune suppression, including Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) and primary effusion lymphoma (PEL). However, whether emmprin expression and function are regulated by KSHV or other oncogenic viruses in the tumor microenvironment to promote viral cancer pathogenesis remains unknown. Fibroblasts and endothelial cells support latent KSHV infection and represent cellular components of KS lesions. Therefore, we utilized primary human fibroblasts and endothelial cells to determine whether KSHV itself regulates emmprin expression, and whether KSHV-emmprin interactions mediate cell invasiveness. We found that KSHV promotes fibroblast and endothelial cell invasiveness following de novo infection through the upregulation of emmprin, and that this effect is mediated by the KSHV-encoded latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA). We further validated these findings through our observations that emmprin promotes invasiveness, as well as colony formation, by PEL cells derived from human tumors. Collectively, these data implicate KSHV activation of emmprin as an important mechanism for cancer progression and support the potential utility of targeting emmprin as a novel therapeutic approach for KSHV-associated tumors.
KSHV; CD147; Kaposi’s sarcoma; lymphoma
Tumor viruses can induce cell transformation by overcoming cellular defense mechanisms and promoting the ungoverned proliferation of infected cells. To this end, functionally related viral oncogenes have evolved in disparate viruses to override key proliferative and survival intracellular pathways, thus assuring efficient viral replication and contributing to tumor formation. Indeed, the study of viral oncogenes has been a powerful tool for disclosing fundamental insights into these basic cellular processes.
In this regard, the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus (KSHV or HHV8), the etiological agent of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), is an exemplary model of an oncogenic virus that includes within its genome several homologues of cellular genes implicated in the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis. However, emerging evidence now points to a single KSHV gene, ORF74, encoding for the viral G protein-coupled receptor (vGPCR), as essential for KS development. Expressed in only a fraction of cells within KS lesions, this viral receptor induces tumorigenesis through both autocrine and paracrine mechanisms. Indeed, work from several labs has demonstrated that vGPCR can promote cell proliferation, enhance cell survival, modulate cell migration, stimulate angiogenesis, and recruit inflammatory cells, both in expressing cells, as well as in neighboring (bystander) cells. Examination of this powerful viral oncogene may expose novel targets for the treatment of patients with KS and could ultimately provide a unique perspective into how GPCRs, and specifically chemokine receptors, contribute to angiogenesis and tumorigenesis.
endothelial cell; Kaposi’s sarcoma; rapamycin; sirolimus; mTOR; Akt; PI3 kinase; NFκB; Rac1; Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus; KSHV; Human herpesvirus-8; HHV-8; G protein-coupled receptor; vGPCR; paracrine neoplasia
Nucleophosmin (NPM) is a multifunctional nuclear phosphoprotein and a histone chaperone implicated in chromatin organization and transcription control. Oncogenic Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and multicentric Castleman disease (MCD). In the infected host cell KSHV displays two modes of infection, the latency and productive viral replication phases, involving extensive viral DNA replication and gene expression. A sustained balance between latency and reactivation to the productive infection state is essential for viral persistence and KSHV pathogenesis. Our study demonstrates that the KSHV v-cyclin and cellular CDK6 kinase phosphorylate NPM on threonine 199 (Thr199) in de novo and naturally KSHV-infected cells and that NPM is phosphorylated to the same site in primary KS tumors. Furthermore, v-cyclin-mediated phosphorylation of NPM engages the interaction between NPM and the latency-associated nuclear antigen LANA, a KSHV-encoded repressor of viral lytic replication. Strikingly, depletion of NPM in PEL cells leads to viral reactivation, and production of new infectious virus particles. Moreover, the phosphorylation of NPM negatively correlates with the level of spontaneous viral reactivation in PEL cells. This work demonstrates that NPM is a critical regulator of KSHV latency via functional interactions with v-cyclin and LANA.
Latency is the predominant mode of viral persistence in KS and PEL tumors, and has a fundamental impact on KSHV tumorigenesis. Establishment and maintenance of latency involves a number of viral and cellular factors. This study provides a novel functional link between LANA and v-cyclin by showing that phosphorylation of nucleophosmin (NPM) by the v-cyclin-CDK6 kinase complex supports its interaction with LANA, and thus enables the transcriptional silencing of KSHV lytic genes needed for latency. These findings indicate that KSHV has evolved mechanisms to utilize host proteins for maintaining the latency, and underscores the role of NPM as a regulator of not only mammalian transcription but also of viral transcription. Taken together, our data suggests that a cellular protein, NPM, is a critical factor for the latency of this oncogenic human virus, and may thus represent an attractive novel target for intervention.
Upon viral infection, the major defensive strategy employed by the host immune system is the activation of the interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral pathway, which is overseen by IFN regulatory factors (IRFs). In order to complete their life cycles, viruses must find a way to modulate the host IFN-mediated immune response. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), a human tumor-inducing herpesvirus, has developed a unique mechanism for antagonizing cellular IFN-mediated antiviral activity by incorporating viral homolog of the cellular IRFs, called vIRFs, into its genome. Here, we summarize the novel evasion mechanisms by which KSHV, through its vIRFs, circumvents IFN-mediated innate immune responses and deregulates the cell growth control mechanism.
Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cells are predominantly infected by the latent form of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), with virus reactivation occurring in a small percentage of cells. Latency enables KSHV to persist in the host cell and promotes tumorigenesis through viral gene expression, thus presenting a major barrier to the elimination of KSHV and the treatment of PEL. Therefore, it is important to identify cellular genes that are essential for PEL cell survival or the maintenance of KSHV latency. Here we report that cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) inhibition can induce both apoptosis and KSHV reactivation in a population of PEL cells. Caspases, but not p53, are required for PEL cell apoptosis induced by Cdk1 inhibition. p38 kinase is activated by Cdk1 inhibition and mediates KSHV reactivation. Interestingly, upon Cdk1 inhibition, KSHV is reactivated predominantly in the nonapoptotic subpopulation of PEL cells. We provide evidence that this is due to mutual inhibition between apoptosis and KSHV reactivation. In addition, we found that KSHV reactivation activates protein kinase B (AKT/PKB), which promotes cell survival and facilitates KSHV reactivation. Our study thus establishes a key role for Cdk1 in PEL cell survival and the maintenance of KSHV latency and reveals a multifaceted relationship between KSHV reactivation and PEL cell apoptosis.
On viral infection, infected cells can become the target of host immune responses or can go through a programmed cell death process, called apoptosis, as a defense mechanism to limit the ability of the virus to replicate. To prevent this, viruses have evolved elaborate mechanisms to subvert the apoptotic process. Here, we report the identification of a novel antiapoptotic K7 protein of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) which expresses during lytic replication. The KSHV K7 gene encodes a small mitochondrial membrane protein, and its expression efficiently inhibits apoptosis induced by a variety of apoptogenic agents. The yeast two-hybrid screen has demonstrated that K7 targets cellular calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand (CAML), a protein that regulates the intracellular Ca2+ concentration. Similar to CAML, K7 expression significantly enhances the kinetics and amplitudes of the increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration on apoptotic stimulus. Mutational analysis showed that K7 interaction with CAML is required for its function in the inhibition of apoptosis. This indicates that K7 targets cellular CAML to increase the cytosolic Ca2+ response, which consequently protects cells from mitochondrial damage and apoptosis. This is a novel viral antiapoptosis strategy where the KSHV mitochondrial K7 protein targets a cellular Ca2+-modulating protein to confer resistance to apoptosis, which allows completion of the viral lytic replication and, eventually, maintenance of persistent infection in infected host.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) establishes life-long infection by evading clearance by the host immune system. In de novo infection and lytic replication, KSHV escapes cytotoxic T cells and NK cells through downregulation of MHC class-I and ICAM-1 molecules and associated antigens involved in forming and sustaining the immunological synapse. However, the efficacy of such mechanisms in the context of the predominantly latent KSHV infection reported in Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) lesions is unclear. Using primary dermal fibroblasts in a novel in vitro model of chronic latent KSHV infection, we generated target cells with viral loads similar to those in spindle cells extracted from KS lesions. We show that latently KSHV-infected fibroblasts had normal levels of MHC-class I, ICAM-1, HLA-E and NKG2D ligand expression, were resistant to NK-cell natural cytotoxicity and were highly susceptible to killing by cytokine-activated immunocompetent NK cells. KSHV-infected fibroblasts expressed normal levels of IFN-γR1 and responded to exogenous IFN-γ by upregulating MHC class I, ICAM-1 and HLA-E and resisting activated NK-cell killing. These data demonstrate that physiologically relevant levels of latent KSHV infection in primary cells cause limited activation of resting NK cells and confer little specific resistance to control by activated NK cells.
Immune evasion; Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus; NK cells
The majority of AIDS-associated primary effusion lymphomas (PEL) are latently infected with both Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). PELs harboring two viruses have higher oncogenic potential, suggesting functional interactions between EBV and KSHV. The KSHV replication and transcription activator (K-RTA) is necessary and sufficient for induction of KSHV lytic replication. EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1) is essential for EBV transformation and establishment of latency in vitro. We show EBV inhibits chemically induced KSHV lytic replication, in part because of a regulatory loop in which K-RTA induces EBV LMP-1 and LMP-1 in turn inhibits K-RTA expression and furthermore the lytic gene expression of KSHV. Suppression of LMP-1 expression in dually infected PEL cells enhances the expression of K-RTA and lytic replication of KSHV upon chemical induction. Because LMP-1 is known to inhibit EBV lytic replication, KSHV-mediated induction of LMP-1 would potentiate EBV latency. Moreover, KSHV infection of EBV latency cells induces LMP-1, and K-RTA is involved in the induction. Both LMP-1 and K-RTA are expressed during primary infection by EBV of KSHV latency cells. Our findings provide evidence that an interaction between EBV and KSHV at molecular levels promotes the maintenance and possibly establishment of viral latency, which may contribute to pathogenesis of PELs.
Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is linked with all clinical forms of Kaposi sarcoma and several lymphoproliferative disorders. Like other herpesviruses, KSHV becomes latent in the infected cells, expressing only a few genes that are essential for the establishment and maintenance of its latency and for the survival of the infected cells. Inhibiting the expression of these latent genes should lead to eradication of herpesvirus infection. All currently available drugs are ineffective against latent infection. Here we show, for the first time to our knowledge, that latent infection with KSHV in B lymphocytes can be terminated by glycyrrhizic acid (GA), a triterpenoid compound earlier shown to inhibit the lytic replication of other herpesviruses. We demonstrate that GA disrupts latent KSHV infection by downregulating the expression of latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) and upregulating the expression of viral cyclin and selectively induces cell death of KSHV-infected cells. We show that reduced levels of LANA lead to p53 reactivation, an increase in ROS, and mitochondrial dysfunction, which result in G1 cell cycle arrest, DNA fragmentation, and oxidative stress–mediated apoptosis. Latent genes are involved in KSHV-induced oncogenesis, and strategies to interfere with their expression might prove useful for eradicating latent KSHV infection and have future therapeutic implications.