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1.  A Viral Genome Landscape of RNA Polyadenylation from KSHV Latent to Lytic Infection 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(11):e1003749.
RNA polyadenylation (pA) is one of the major steps in regulation of gene expression at the posttranscriptional level. In this report, a genome landscape of pA sites of viral transcripts in B lymphocytes with Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection was constructed using a modified PA-seq strategy. We identified 67 unique pA sites, of which 55 could be assigned for expression of annotated ∼90 KSHV genes. Among the assigned pA sites, twenty are for expression of individual single genes and the rest for multiple genes (average 2.7 genes per pA site) in cluster-gene loci of the genome. A few novel viral pA sites that could not be assigned to any known KSHV genes are often positioned in the antisense strand to ORF8, ORF21, ORF34, K8 and ORF50, and their associated antisense mRNAs to ORF21, ORF34 and K8 could be verified by 3′RACE. The usage of each mapped pA site correlates to its peak size, the larger (broad and wide) peak size, the more usage and thus, the higher expression of the pA site-associated gene(s). Similar to mammalian transcripts, KSHV RNA polyadenylation employs two major poly(A) signals, AAUAAA and AUUAAA, and is regulated by conservation of cis-elements flanking the mapped pA sites. Moreover, we found two or more alternative pA sites downstream of ORF54, K2 (vIL6), K9 (vIRF1), K10.5 (vIRF3), K11 (vIRF2), K12 (Kaposin A), T1.5, and PAN genes and experimentally validated the alternative polyadenylation for the expression of KSHV ORF54, K11, and T1.5 transcripts. Together, our data provide not only a comprehensive pA site landscape for understanding KSHV genome structure and gene expression, but also the first evidence of alternative polyadenylation as another layer of posttranscriptional regulation in viral gene expression.
Author Summary
A genome-wide polyadenylation landscape in the expression of human herpesviruses has not been reported. In this study, we provide the first genome landscape of viral RNA polyadenylation sites in B cells from KSHV latent to lytic infection by using a modified PA-seq protocol and selectively validated by 3′ RACE. We found that KSHV genome contains 67 active pA sites for the expression of its ∼90 genes and a few antisense transcripts. Among the mapped pA sites, a large fraction of them are for the expression of cluster genes and the production of bicistronic or polycistronic transcripts from KSHV genome and only one-third are used for the expression of single genes. We found that the size of individual PA peaks is positively correlated with the usage of corresponding pA site, which is determined by the number of reads within the PA peak from latent to lytic KSHV infection, and the strength of cis-elements surrounding KSHV pA site determines the expression level of viral genes. Lastly, we identified and experimentally validated alternative polyadenylation of KSHV ORF54, T1.5, and K11 during viral lytic infection. To our knowledge, this is the first report on alternative polyadenylation events in KSHV infection.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003749
PMCID: PMC3828183  PMID: 24244170
2.  Interplay between Polyadenylate-Binding Protein 1 and Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF57 in Accumulation of Polyadenylated Nuclear RNA, a Viral Long Noncoding RNA 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(1):243-256.
Polyadenylate-binding protein cytoplasmic 1 (PABPC1) is a cytoplasmic-nuclear shuttling protein important for protein translation initiation and both RNA processing and stability. We report that PABPC1 forms a complex with the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57 protein, which allows ORF57 to interact with a 9-nucleotide (nt) core element of KSHV polyadenylated nuclear (PAN) RNA, a viral long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), and increase PAN stability. The N-terminal RNA recognition motifs (RRMs) of PABPC1 are necessary for the direct interaction with ORF57. During KSHV lytic infection, the expression of viral ORF57 leads to a substantial decrease in overall PABPC1 expression, along with a shift in the cellular distribution of the remaining PABPC1 to the nucleus. Interestingly, PABPC1 and ORF57 have opposing functions in modulating PAN steady-state accumulation. The suppressive effect of PABPC1 specific to PAN expression is alleviated by small interfering RNA knockdown of PABPC1 or by overexpression of ORF57. Conversely, ectopic PABPC1 reduces ORF57 steady-state protein levels and induces aberrant polyadenylation of PAN and thereby indirectly inhibits ORF57-mediated PAN accumulation. However, E1B-AP5 (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein U-like 1), which interacts with a region outside the 9-nt core to stimulate PAN expression, does not interact or even colocalize with ORF57. Unlike PABPC1, the nuclear distribution of E1B-AP5 remains unchanged by viral lytic infection or overexpression of ORF57. Together, these data indicate that PABPC1 is an important cellular target of viral ORF57 to directly upregulate PAN accumulation during viral lytic infection, and the ability of host PABPC1 to disrupt ORF57 expression is a strategic host counterbalancing mechanism.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01693-12
PMCID: PMC3536381  PMID: 23077296
3.  Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF57 Is Not a Bona Fide Export Factor 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(23):13089-13094.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV [human herpesvirus 8; HHV-8]) open reading frame 57 (ORF57) is a viral early protein participating in posttranscriptional regulatory events, such as splicing, RNA stabilization, and protein expression. Recent data suggest that ORF57 recruits the transcription and export (TREX) complex to viral RNA and exports these transcripts to the cytoplasm. In this study, we show that although ORF57 promotes expression of a selection of KSHV viral intronless RNAs, it is not a bona fide export factor.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00606-12
PMCID: PMC3497679  PMID: 22993146
4.  Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesviral IL6 and human IL6 open reading frames contain miRNA binding sites and are subject to cellular miRNA regulation 
The Journal of pathology  2011;225(3):378-389.
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) encodes a viral interleukin 6 (vIL6) that mimics many activities of human IL6 (hIL6). Both vIL6 and hIL6 play important roles in stimulating the proliferation of tumors caused by KSHV. Here, we provide evidence that a miRNA pathway is involved in regulation of vIL6 and hIL6 expression through binding sites in their open reading frames (ORF). We show a direct repression of vIL6 by hsa-miR-1293 and hIL6 by hsa-miR-608. The repression of vIL6 by miR-1293 was reversed by disruption of the vIL6 miR-1293 seed match through the introduction of point mutations. In addition, expression of vIL6 or hIL6 in KSHV-infected cells could be enhanced by transfection of the respective miRNA inhibitors. In situ hybridization of human lymph node sections revealed that miR-1293 is primarily expressed in the germinal center, but is deficient in the mantle zone of lymph nodes where the expression of vIL6 is often found in patients with KSHV-associated multicentric Castleman’s disease, providing evidence of an anatomic correlation. Together, our study indicates that IL6 expression can be regulated by miRNA interactions in its ORF and provides evidence for the role of these interactions in the pathogenesis of KSHV-associated diseases.
doi:10.1002/path.2962
PMCID: PMC3528401  PMID: 21984125
Viral IL6; IL6; miRNA; Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus; germinal center; gene expression; post-transcriptional regulation
5.  Requirement of UAP56, URH49, RBM15, and OTT3 in expression of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus ORF57 
Virology  2010;407(2):206-212.
Transport of mRNA from the nucleus to the cytoplasm is mediated by cellular RNA export factors. In this report, we examined how RNA export factors UAP56 and URH49, and RNA export cofactors RBM15 and OTT3, function in modulating KSHV ORF57 expression. We found that knockdown of each factor by RNAi led to decreased ORF57 expression. Specifically, reduced expression of either UAP56 or RBM15 led to nuclear export deficiency of ORF57 RNA. In the context of the KSHV genome, the near absence of UAP56 or RBM15 reduced the expression of both ORF57 and ORF59 (an RNA target of ORF57), but not ORF50. Collectively, our data indicate that the expression of KSHV ORF57 is regulated by cellular RNA export factors and cofactors at the posttranscriptional level.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2010.08.014
PMCID: PMC2952739  PMID: 20828777
6.  Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF57 Promotes Escape of Viral and Human Interleukin-6 from MicroRNA-Mediated Suppression▿ †  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(6):2620-2630.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) lytic infection increases the expression of viral and human interleukin-6 (vIL-6 and hIL-6, respectively), an important factor for cell growth and pathogenesis. Here, we report genome-wide analysis of viral RNA targets of KSHV ORF57 by a novel UV-cross-linking and immunoprecipitation (CLIP) assay. We identified 11 viral transcripts as putative ORF57 targets and demonstrate that vIL-6 mRNA is an authentic target of ORF57. Disrupting the ORF57 gene in the KSHV genome leads to inefficient expression of vIL-6. With transient transfection, the expression of vIL-6 could be enhanced greatly in the presence of ORF57 in a dose-dependent manner. We found that the open reading frame (ORF) region of vIL-6 RNA contains an MRE (MTA [ORF57]-responsive element) composed of two motifs, MRE-A and MRE-B, and binding of ORF57 to these two motifs stabilizes vIL-6 RNA and promotes vIL-6 translation. We demonstrate that vIL-6 MRE-B bears an miR-1293 binding site and that, mechanistically, ORF57 competes with miR-1293 for the same binding site to interact with vIL-6 RNA, thereby preventing vIL-6 RNA from association with the miR-1293-specified RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). Consistent with this, ORF57 also interacts with an miR-608 binding site in the hIL-6 ORF and prevents miR-608 repression of hIL-6. Collectively, our results identify a novel function of ORF57 in being responsible for stabilization of viral and human IL-6 RNAs and the corresponding enhancement of RNA translation. In addition, our data provide the first evidence that a tumor virus may use a viral protein to interfere with microRNA (miRNA)-mediated repression of an miRNA target to induce cell proliferation and tumorigenesis during virus infection.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02144-10
PMCID: PMC3067933  PMID: 21209110
7.  Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF57 Interacts with Cellular RNA Export Cofactors RBM15 and OTT3 To Promote Expression of Viral ORF59 ▿ †  
Journal of Virology  2010;85(4):1528-1540.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) encodes ORF57, which promotes the accumulation of specific KSHV mRNA targets, including ORF59 mRNA. We report that the cellular export NXF1 cofactors RBM15 and OTT3 participate in ORF57-enhanced expression of KSHV ORF59. We also found that ectopic expression of RBM15 or OTT3 augments ORF59 production in the absence of ORF57. While RBM15 promotes the accumulation of ORF59 RNA predominantly in the nucleus compared to the levels in the cytoplasm, we found that ORF57 shifted the nucleocytoplasmic balance by increasing ORF59 RNA accumulation in the cytoplasm more than in the nucleus. By promoting the accumulation of cytoplasmic ORF59 RNA, ORF57 offsets the nuclear RNA accumulation mediated by RBM15 by preventing nuclear ORF59 RNA from hyperpolyadenylation. ORF57 interacts directly with the RBM15 C-terminal portion containing the SPOC domain to reduce RBM15 binding to ORF59 RNA. Although ORF57 homologs Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) EB2, herpes simplex virus (HSV) ICP27, varicella-zoster virus (VZV) IE4/ORF4, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) UL69 also interact with RBM15 and OTT3, EBV EB2, which also promotes ORF59 expression, does not function like KSHV ORF57 to efficiently prevent RBM15-mediated nuclear accumulation of ORF59 RNA and RBM15's association with polyadenylated RNAs. Collectively, our data provide novel insight elucidating a molecular mechanism by which ORF57 promotes the expression of viral intronless genes.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01709-10
PMCID: PMC3028919  PMID: 21106733
8.  Stability of a Long Noncoding Viral RNA Depends on a 9-nt Core Element at the RNA 5' End to Interact with Viral ORF57 and Cellular PABPC1 
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57, also known as Mta (mRNA transcript accumulation), enhances viral intron-less transcript accumulation and promotes splicing of intron-containing viral RNA transcripts. In this study, we identified KSHV PAN, a long non-coding polyadenylated nuclear RNA as a main target of ORF57 by a genome-wide CLIP (cross-linking and immunoprecipitation) approach. KSHV genome lacking ORF57 expresses only a minimal amount of PAN. In cotransfection experiments, ORF57 alone increased PAN expression by 20-30-fold when compared to vector control. This accumulation function of ORF57 was dependent on a structured RNA element in the 5' PAN, named MRE (Mta responsive element), but not much so on an ENE (expression and nuclear retention element) in the 3' PAN previously reported by other studies. We showed that the major function of the 5' PAN MRE is increasing the RNA half-life of PAN in the presence of ORF57. Further mutational analyses revealed a core motif consisting of 9 nucleotides in the MRE-II , which is responsible for ORF57 interaction and function. The 9-nt core in the MRE-II also binds cellular PABPC1, but not the E1B-AP5 which binds another region of the MRE-II. In addition, we found that PAN RNA is partially exportable in the presence of ORF57. Together, our data provide compelling evidence as to how ORF57 functions to accumulate a non-coding viral RNA in the course of virus lytic infection.
PMCID: PMC3204405  PMID: 22043172
KSHV; long non-coding RNA; ORF57; PAN; RNA stability; RNA accumulation; PABPC1; E1B-AP5
10.  Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus ORF57 in viral RNA processing 
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57 (MTA, mRNA transcript accumulation) is a multifunctional regulator of the expression of viral lytic genes. KSHV ORF57 is expressed during viral lytic infection and is essential for virus production. Like its homologues in the herpesvirus family, ORF57 promotes the accumulation (stabilization) and export of viral intronless RNA transcripts by a mechanism which remains to be defined. The ORF57-Aly/REF interaction plays only a small role in viral RNA export. Although other members of the family generally inhibit the splicing of cellular RNAs, KSHV ORF57 and EBV EB2, in sharp contrast, stimulate viral RNA splicing for the expression of viral intron-containing genes. The functions of KSHV ORF57 are independent of transcription and of other viral proteins; instead, these functions always rely on cellular components and occur in various protein-RNA complexes. ORF57 may synergize with KSHV ORF50 to transactivate a subset of viral promoters by an unknown mechanism. Thus, some functions of ORF57 have been conserved while others have diverged from its homologues as ORF57 adapted over evolution to KSHV biology and pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2654597  PMID: 19273144
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus; Gene expression; ORF57; RNA splicing; Post-transcriptional regulation; Protein-RNA interaction; RNA export; Review
11.  Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF57 Functions as a Viral Splicing Factor and Promotes Expression of Intron-Containing Viral Lytic Genes in Spliceosome-Mediated RNA Splicing▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(6):2792-2801.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57 facilitates the expression of both intronless viral ORF59 genes and intron-containing viral K8 and K8.1 genes (V. Majerciak, N. Pripuzova, J. P. McCoy, S. J. Gao, and Z. M. Zheng, J. Virol. 81:1062-1071, 2007). In this study, we showed that disruption of ORF57 in a KSHV genome led to increased accumulation of ORF50 and K8 pre-mRNAs and reduced expression of ORF50 and K-bZIP proteins but had no effect on latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA). Cotransfection of ORF57 and K8β cDNA, which retains a suboptimal intron of K8 pre-mRNA due to alternative splicing, promoted RNA splicing of K8β and production of K8α (K-bZIP). Although Epstein-Barr virus EB2, a closely related homolog of ORF57, had a similar activity in the cotransfection assays, herpes simplex virus type 1 ICP27 was inactive. This enhancement of RNA splicing by ORF57 correlates with the intact N-terminal nuclear localization signal motifs of ORF57 and takes place in the absence of other viral proteins. In activated KSHV-infected B cells, KSHV ORF57 partially colocalizes with splicing factors in nuclear speckles and assembles into spliceosomal complexes in association with low-abundance viral ORF50 and K8 pre-mRNAs and essential splicing components. The association of ORF57 with snRNAs occurs by ORF57-Sm protein interaction. We also found that ORF57 binds K8β pre-mRNAs in vitro in the presence of nuclear extracts. Collectively our data indicate that KSHV ORF57 functions as a novel splicing factor in the spliceosome-mediated splicing of viral RNA transcripts.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01856-07
PMCID: PMC2258979  PMID: 18184716
12.  Targeted Disruption of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF57 in the Viral Genome Is Detrimental for the Expression of ORF59, K8α, and K8.1 and the Production of Infectious Virus▿  
Journal of Virology  2006;81(3):1062-1071.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57 regulates viral gene expression at the posttranscriptional level during viral lytic infection. To study its function in the context of the viral genome, we disrupted KSHV ORF57 in the KSHV genome by transposon-based mutagenesis. The insertion of the transposon into the ORF57 exon 2 region also interrupted the 3′ untranslated region of KSHV ORF56, which overlaps with the ORF57 coding region. The disrupted viral genome, Bac36-Δ57, did not express ORF57, ORF59, K8α, K8.1, or a higher level of polyadenylated nuclear RNA after butyrate induction and could not be induced to produce infectious viruses in the presence of valproic acid, a histone deacetylase inhibitor and a novel KSHV lytic cycle inducer. The ectopic expression of ORF57 partially complemented the replication deficiency of the disrupted KSHV genome and the expression of the lytic gene ORF59. The induced production of infectious virus particles from the disrupted KSHV genome was also substantially restored by the simultaneous expression of both ORF57 and ORF56; complementation by ORF57 alone only partially restored the production of virus, and expression of ORF56 alone showed no effect. Altogether, our data indicate that in the context of the viral genome, KSHV ORF57 is essential for ORF59, K8α, and K8.1 expression and infectious virus production.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01558-06
PMCID: PMC1797518  PMID: 17108026
13.  Gene Structure and Expression of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF56, ORF57, ORF58, and ORF59▿  
Journal of Virology  2006;80(24):11968-11981.
Though similar to those of herpesvirus saimiri and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) genome features more splice genes and encodes many genes with bicistronic or polycistronic transcripts. In the present study, the gene structure and expression of KSHV ORF56 (primase), ORF57 (MTA), ORF58 (EBV BMRF2 homologue), and ORF59 (DNA polymerase processivity factor) were analyzed in butyrate-activated KSHV+ JSC-1 cells. ORF56 was expressed at low abundance as a bicistronic ORF56/57 transcript that utilized the same intron, with two alternative branch points, as ORF57 for its RNA splicing. ORF56 was transcribed from two transcription start sites, nucleotides (nt) 78994 (minor) and 79075 (major), but selected the same poly(A) signal as ORF57 for RNA polyadenylation. The majority of ORF56 and ORF57 transcripts were cleaved at nt 83628, although other nearby cleavage sites were selectable. On the opposite strand of the viral genome, colinear ORF58 and ORF59 were transcribed from different transcription start sites, nt 95821 (major) or 95824 (minor) for ORF58 and nt 96790 (minor) or 96794 (major) for ORF59, but shared overlapping poly(A) signals at nt 94492 and 94488. Two cleavage sites, at nt 94477 and nt 94469, could be equally selected for ORF59 polyadenylation, but only the cleavage site at nt 94469 could be selected for ORF58 polyadenylation without disrupting the ORF58 stop codon immediately upstream. ORF58 was expressed in low abundance as a monocistronic transcript, with a long 5′ untranslated region (UTR) but a short 3′ UTR, whereas ORF59 was expressed in high abundance as a bicistronic transcript, with a short 5′ UTR and a long 3′ UTR similar to those of polycistronic ORF60 and ORF62. Both ORF56 and ORF59 are targets of ORF57 and were up-regulated significantly in the presence of ORF57, a posttranscriptional regulator.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01394-06
PMCID: PMC1676266  PMID: 17020939
14.  Marek's Disease Virus (MDV) Encodes an Interleukin-8 Homolog (vIL-8): Characterization of the vIL-8 Protein and a vIL-8 Deletion Mutant MDV† 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(11):5159-5173.
Chemokines induce chemotaxis, cell migration, and inflammatory responses. We report the identification of an interleukin-8 (IL-8) homolog, termed vIL-8, encoded within the genome of Marek's disease virus (MDV). The 134-amino-acid vIL-8 shares closest homology to mammalian and avian IL-8, molecules representing the prototype CXC chemokine. The gene for vIL-8 consists of three exons which map to the BamHI-L fragment within the repeats flanking the unique long region of the MDV genome. A 0.7-kb transcript encoding vIL-8 was detected in an n-butyrate-treated, MDV-transformed T-lymphoblastoid cell line, MSB-1. This induction is essentially abolished by cycloheximide and herpesvirus DNA polymerase inhibitor phosphonoacetate, indicating that vIL-8 is expressed with true late (γ2) kinetics. Baculovirus-expressed vIL-8 was found to be secreted into the medium and shown to be functional as a chemoattractant for chicken peripheral blood mononuclear cells but not for heterophils. To characterize the function of vIL-8 with respect to MDV infection in vivo, a recombinant MDV was constructed with a deletion of all three exons and a soluble-modified green fluorescent protein (smGFP) expression cassette inserted at the site of deletion. In two in vivo experiments, the vIL-8 deletion mutant (RB1BvIL-8ΔsmGFP) showed a decreased level of lytic infection in comparison to its parent virus, an equal-passage-level parent virus, and to another recombinant MDV containing the insertion of a GFP expression cassette at the nonessential US2 gene. RB1BvIL-8ΔsmGFP retained oncogenicity, albeit at a greatly reduced level. Nonetheless, we have been able to establish a lymphoblastoid cell line from an RB1BvIL-8ΔsmGFP-induced ovarian lymphoma (MDCC-UA20) and verify the presence of a latent MDV genome lacking vIL-8. Taken together, these data describe the identification and characterization of a chemokine homolog encoded within the MDV genome that is dispensable for transformation but may affect the level of MDV in vivo lytic infection.
doi:10.1128/JVI.75.11.5159-5173.2001
PMCID: PMC114921  PMID: 11333897

Results 1-14 (14)