Endocan (or called Esm-1) has been shown to have tumorigenic activities and its expression is associated with poor prognosis in various cancers. Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded oncoprotein and has been shown to play an important role in the pathogenesis of EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). To further understand the role of LMP1 in the pathogenesis of NPC, microarray analysis of LMP1-regulated genes in epithelial cells was performed. We found that endocan was one of the major cellular genes upregulated by LMP1. This induction of endocan by LMP1 was confirmed in several epithelial cell lines including an NPC cell line. Upregulation of endocan by LMP1 was found to be mediated through the CTAR1 and CTAR2 domains of LMP1 and through the LMP1-activated NF-κB, MEK-ERK and JNK signaling pathways. To study whether endocan was expressed in NPC and whether endocan expression was associated with LMP1 expression in NPC, the expression of endocan and LMP1 in tumor tissues from 42 NPC patients was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Expression of endocan was found in 52% of NPC specimens. Significant correlation between LMP1 and endocan expression was observed (p<0.0001). Moreover, NPC patients with endocan expression were found to have a shorter survival than NPC patients without endocan expression (p=0.0104, log-rank test). Univariate and Multivariate analyses revealed that endocan was a potential prognostic factor for NPC. Finally, we demonstrated that endocan could stimulate the migration and invasion ability of endothelial cells and this activity of endocan was dependent on the glycan moiety and the phenylalanine-rich region of endocan. Together, these studies not only identify a new molecular marker that may predict the survival of NPC patients but also provide a new insight to the pathogenesis of NPC.
The replication and transcription activator (RTA) of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a molecular switch that initiates a productive replication of latent KSHV genomes. KSHV RTA (K-RTA) is composed of 691 amino acids with high Ser and Thr content (17.7%), but to what extent these Ser and Thr are modified in vivo has not been explored.
By using tandem mass spectrometric analysis of affinity-purified FLAG tagged K-RTA, we sought to identify Ser and Thr residues that are post-translationally modified in K-RTA.
We found that K-RTA is an O-GlcNAcylated protein and Thr-366/Thr-367 is the primary motif with O-GlcNAcylation in vivo. The biological significance of O-GlcNAc modified Thr-366 and Thr-367 was assessed by site-specific amino acid substitution. Replacement of Thr with Ala at amino acid 366 or 367 caused a modest enhancement of K-RTA transactivation activity in a luciferase reporter assay and a cell model for KSHV reactivation. By using co-immunoprecipitation coupled with western blot analysis, we showed that the capacity of K-RTA in associating with endogenous PARP1 was significantly reduced in the Thr-366/Thr-367 O-GlcNAc mutants. PARP1 is a documented negative regulator of K-RTA that can be ascribed by the attachment of large negatively charged polymer onto K-RTA via PARP1's poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase activity. In agreement, shRNA-mediated depletion of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) in KSHV infected cells augmented viral reactivation and virus production that was accompanied by diminished K-RTA and PARP1 complexes.
KSHV latent-lytic switch K-RTA is modified by cellular O-GlcNAcylation, which imposes a negative effect on K-RTA transactivation activity. This inhibitory effect involves OGT and PARP1, two nutritional sensors recently emerging as chromatin modifiers. Thus, we speculate that the activity of K-RTA on its target genes is continuously checked and modulated by OGT and PARP1 in response to cellular metabolic state.
KSHV; K-RTA; O-GlcNAcylation; PARP1; Polycomb group (PcG) complex
In the present study, the authors compared the long-term risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) of male participants in an NPC multiplex family cohort with that of controls in a community cohort in Taiwan after adjustment for anti-Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) seromarkers and cigarette smoking. A total of 43 incident NPC cases were identified from the 1,019 males in the NPC multiplex family cohort and the 9,622 males in the community cohort, for a total of 8,061 person-years and 185,587 person-years, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio was 6.8 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.3, 20.1) for the multiplex family cohort compared with the community cohort. In the evaluation of anti-EBV viral capsid antigen immunoglobulin A and anti-EBV deoxyribonuclease, the adjusted hazard ratios were 2.8 (95% CI: 1.3, 6.0) and 15.1 (95% CI: 4.2, 54.1) for those positive for 1 EBV seromarker and positive for both seromarkers, respectively, compared with those negative for both EBV seromarkers. The adjusted hazard ratio was 31.0 (95% CI: 9.7, 98.7) for participants who reported a family history of NPC and who were anti-EBV-seropositive compared with individuals without such a history who were anti-EBV-seronegative. The findings suggest that both family history of NPC and anti-EBV seropositivity are important determinants of subsequent NPC risk and that the effect of family history on NPC risk cannot be fully explained by mediation through EBV serologic responses.
carcinoma; cohort studies; herpesvirus 4, human
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) Rta belongs to a lytic switch gene family that is evolutionarily conserved in all gamma-herpesviruses. Emerging evidence indicates that cell cycle arrest is a common means by which herpesviral immediate-early protein hijacks the host cell to advance the virus's lytic cycle progression. To examine the role of Rta in cell cycle regulation, we recently established a doxycycline (Dox)-inducible Rta system in 293 cells. In this cell background, inducible Rta modulated the levels of signature G1 arrest proteins, followed by induction of the cellular senescence marker, SA-β-Gal. To delineate the relationship between Rta-induced cell growth arrest and EBV reactivation, recombinant viral genomes were transferred into Rta-inducible 293 cells. Somewhat unexpectedly, we found that Dox-inducible Rta reactivated both EBV and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), to similar efficacy. As a consequence, the Rta-mediated EBV and KSHV lytic replication systems, designated as EREV8 and ERKV, respectively, were homogenous, robust, and concurrent with cell death likely due to permissive lytic replication. In addition, the expression kinetics of EBV lytic genes in Dox-treated EREV8 cells was similar to that of their KSHV counterparts in Dox-induced ERKV cells, suggesting that a common pathway is used to disrupt viral latency in both cell systems. When the time course was compared, cell cycle arrest was achieved between 6 and 48 h, EBV or KSHV reactivation was initiated abruptly at 48 h, and the cellular senescence marker was not detected until 120 h after Dox treatment. These results lead us to hypothesize that in 293 cells, Rta-induced G1 cell cycle arrest could provide (1) an ideal environment for virus reactivation if EBV or KSHV coexists and (2) a preparatory milieu for cell senescence if no viral genome is available. The latter is hypothetical in a transient-lytic situation.
Association between specific human leukocyte antigens (HLA) alleles and NPC have been reported for sporadic NPC but studies of familial NPC are lacking. We evaluated this association with familial NPC in a study of 301 NPC cases and 1010 family and community controls from Taiwan. Class I HLA alleles were characterized using a sequence-based typing protocol. Allele frequencies between case and control groups were compared by chi-square or exact tests. For alleles associated with NPC, odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Similar allelic frequency distribution and HLA associations were found as those previously reported for sporadic NPC: protective effect for HLA-A*1101 and increased risk for HLA-A*0207, HLA-A*3303, HLA-B*3802, and HLA-B*5801. Overall, the magnitude of observed associations was weakest when cases were compared to sibling controls and strongest when compared to unrelated community controls. Evaluating the joint effect of HLAA*0207 and HLA-B*4601, individuals who were carriers of HLA-A*0207 with or without the presence of HLA-B*4601 had a 1.9-fold (95% CI = 1.0-3.4) and 2.1-fold (95% CI = 0.83-5.3) risk of NPC, respectively. Conversely, carriers of HLA-B*4601 in the absence of HLA-A*0207 had a 50% reduction in NPC risk (95% CI = 0.27-0.93). Comparable findings from our family study and those from previous sporadic studies were found with the notable exception of a lack of positive association between HLA-B*4601 and familial NPC in the absence of HLA-A*0207. This finding requires replication in larger studies.
Human leukocyte antigens; nasopharyngeal carcinoma; epidemiology; genetics
Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) oncoprotein, mimics a constitutively activated tumor necrosis factor receptor and activates various signaling pathways, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt. LMP1 is essential for EBV-mediated B-cell transformation and is sufficient to transform several cell lines. Cellular transformation has been associated strongly with genomic instability, while DNA repair plays an important role in maintaining genomic stability. Previously, we have shown that LMP1 represses DNA repair by the C-terminal activating region 1 (CTAR1) in human epithelial cells. In the present study, we demonstrate that the PI3K/Akt pathway is required for LMP1-mediated repression of DNA repair. Through the LMP1/PI3K/Akt pathway, FOXO3a, which can induce DNA repair, is inactivated because of phosphorylation and relocalization. Expression of a constitutively active FOXO3a mutant can rescue LMP1-mediated repression of DNA repair. Furthermore, LMP1 can decrease the expression of DNA damage-binding protein 1 (DDB1), which functions in nucleotide excision repair, through the PI3K/Akt/FOXO3a pathway. LMP1-mediated repression of DNA repair is restored by DDB1, although only partially. These results suggest that LMP1 triggers the PI3K/Akt pathway to inactivate FOXO3a and decrease DDB1, which can lead to repression of DNA repair and may contribute to genomic instability in human epithelial cells.
The tumor suppressor gene p53 plays a central role in the maintenance of normal cell growth and genetic integrity, while its impact on the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) life cycle remains elusive. We found that p53 is important for histone deacetylase inhibitor-induced EBV lytic gene expression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. Restoration of p53 in p53-null, EBV-infected H1299 cells augments the potential for viral lytic cycle initiation. Evidence from reporter assays demonstrated that p53 contributes to the expression of the immediate-early viral Zta gene. Further analysis indicated that the DNA-binding ability of p53 and phosphorylation of Ser392 may be critical. This study provides the first evidence that p53 is involved in the regulation of EBV lytic cycle initiation.
The C-terminal repeating sequences of Clostridium difficile toxin A (designated ARU) are homologous to the carbohydrate-binding domain of streptococcal glucosyltransferases (GTFs) that were recently identified as potent modulins. To test the hypothesis that ARU might exert a similar biological activity on endothelial cells, recombinant ARU (rARU), which was noncytotoxic to cell cultures, was analyzed using human umbilical vein endothelial cells. The rARU could bind directly to endothelial cells in a serum- and calcium-dependent manner and induce the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 in a dose-dependent manner. An oligosaccharide binding assay indicated that rARU, but not GTFC, binds preferentially to Lewis antigens and 3′HSO3-containing oligosaccharides. Binding of rARU to human endothelial or intestinal cells correlated directly with the expression of Lewis Y antigen. Bound rARU directly activated mitogen-activated protein kinases and the NF-κB signaling pathway in endothelial cells to release biologically active chemokines and adhesion molecules that promoted migration in a transwell assay and the adherence of polymorphonuclear and mononuclear cells to the endothelial cells. These results suggest that ARU may bind to multiple carbohydrate motifs to exert its biological activity on human endothelial cells.
Previous studies of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) replication focused mainly on the viral and cellular factors involved in replication compartment assembly and controlling the cell cycle. However, little is known about how EBV reorganizes nuclear architecture and the chromatin territories. In EBV-positive nasopharyngeal carcinoma NA cells or Akata cells, we noticed that cellular chromatin becomes highly condensed upon EBV reactivation. In searching for the possible mechanisms involved, we found that transient expression of EBV BGLF4 kinase induces unscheduled chromosome condensation, nuclear lamina disassembly, and stress fiber rearrangements, independently of cellular DNA replication and Cdc2 activity. BGLF4 interacts with condensin complexes, the major components in mitotic chromosome assembly, and induces condensin phosphorylation at Cdc2 consensus motifs. BGLF4 also stimulates the decatenation activity of topoisomerase II, suggesting that it may induce chromosome condensation through condensin and topoisomerase II activation. The ability to induce chromosome condensation is conserved in another gammaherpesvirus kinase, murine herpesvirus 68 ORF36. Together, these findings suggest a novel mechanism by which gammaherpesvirus kinases may induce multiple premature mitotic events to provide more extrachromosomal space for viral DNA replication and successful egress of nucleocapsid from the nucleus.
Recruitment of monocytes plays important roles during vegetation formation and endocardial inflammation in the pathogenesis of infective endocarditis (IE). Bacterial antigens or modulins can activate endothelial cells through the expression of cytokines or adhesion molecules and modulate the recruitment of leukocytes. We hypothesized that glucosyltransferases (GTFs), modulins of viridans group streptococci, may act directly to up-regulate the expression of adhesion molecules and also interleukin-6 (IL-6) to augment monocyte attachment to endothelial cells. Using primary cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as an in vitro model, we demonstrated that GTFs (in the cell-bound or free form) could specifically modulate the expression of IL-6, and also adhesion molecules, in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Results of inhibition assays suggested that enhanced expression of adhesion molecules was dependent on the activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase and that p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways also contributed to the release of IL-6. Streptococcus-infected HUVECs or treatment with purified IL-6 plus soluble IL-6 receptor α enhanced the expression of ICAM-1 and the adherence of the monocytic cell line U937. These results suggest that streptococcal GTFs might play an important role in recruiting monocytic cells during inflammation in IE through induction of adhesion molecules and IL-6, a cytokine involved in transition from neutrophil to monocyte recruitment.
The glucosyltransferases (GTFs) of viridans streptococci, common pathogens of infective endocarditis, are extracellular proteins that convert sucrose into exopolysaccharides and glucans. GTFs B, C, and D of Streptococcus mutans are modulins that induce, in vitro and in vivo, the production of cytokines, in particular interleukin-6 (IL-6), from monocytes. The roles of S. mutans GTFs in infectivity and inflammation in situ were tested in a rat experimental model of endocarditis. No significant differences in infectivity, in terms of 95% infective dose and densities of bacteria inside vegetations, were observed between laboratory strain GS-5 and two clinical isolates or isogenic mutant NHS1DD, defective in the expression of GTFs. In aortic valves and surrounding tissues, IL-6 was detected by Western blots and immunostaining 24 h after GS-5 infection, was maintained over 72 h, and was followed by production of tumor necrosis factor alpha but not IL-1β. Animals infected with NHS1DD showed markedly lower levels of IL-6 (less than 5% of that of parental GS-5-infected rats), while tumor necrosis factor alpha was unaffected. In contrast, animals infected with NHR1DD, another isogenic mutant expressing only GtfB, showed a much smaller reduction (down to 56%). These results suggest that GTFs are specific modulins that act during acute inflammation, inducing IL-6 from endothelial cells surrounding the infected valves without affecting bacterial colonization in vegetations, and that IL-6 might persist in chronic inflammation in endocarditis.
Platelet aggregation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of infective endocarditis induced by viridans streptococci or staphylococci. Aggregation induced in vitro involves direct binding of bacteria to platelets through multiple surface components. Using platelet aggregometry, we demonstrated in this study that two Streptococcus mutans laboratory strains, GS-5 and Xc, and two clinical isolates could aggregate platelets in an irreversible manner in rabbit platelet-rich plasma preparations. The aggregation was partially inhibited by prostaglandin I2 (PGI2) in a dose-dependent manner. Whole bacteria and heated bacterial cell wall extracts were able to induce aggregation. Cell wall polysaccharides extracted from the wild-type Xc strain, containing serotype-specific polysaccharides which are composed of rhamnose-glucose polymers (RGPs), could induce platelet aggregation in the presence of plasma. Aggregation induced by the serotype-specific RGP-deficient mutant Xc24R was reduced by 50% compared to the wild-type strain Xc. In addition, cell wall polysaccharides extracted from Xc24R failed to induce platelet aggregation. The Xc strain, but not the Xc24R mutant, could induce platelet aggregation when preincubated with plasma. Both Xc and Xc24R failed to induce platelets to aggregate in plasma depleted of immunoglobulin G (IgG), but aggregation was restored by replenishment of anti-serotype c IgG. Analysis by flow cytometry showed that S. mutans RGPs could bind directly to rabbit and human platelets. Furthermore, cell wall polysaccharides extracted from the Xc, but not the Xc24R, strain could induce pseudopod formation of both rabbit and human platelets in the absence of plasma. Distinct from the aggregation of rabbit platelets, bacterium-triggered aggregation of human platelets required a prolonged lag phase and could be blocked completely by PGI2. RGPs also trigger aggregation of human platelets in a donor-dependent manner, either as a transient and reversible or a complete and irreversible response. These results indicated that serotype-specific RGPs, a soluble product of S. mutans, could directly bind to and activate platelets from both rabbit and human. In the presence of plasma containing IgG specific to RGPs, RGPs could trigger aggregation of both human and rabbit platelets, but the degree of aggregation in human platelets depends on the donors.
Production of proinflammatory cytokines is implicated in the pathogenesis of viridans streptococcus-induced α-streptococcal shock syndrome and infective endocarditis. Streptococcus mutans, one of the opportunistic pathogens causing infective endocarditis, was reported previously to stimulate monocytes and epithelial and endothelial cells in vitro to produce various cytokines. We found that glucosyltransferases (GTFs) GtfC and GtfD of S. mutans stimulated predominantly the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) from T cells cultured in vitro. The level of IL-6 but not of tumor necrosis factor alpha in blood was significantly elevated when rats were injected intravenously with S. mutans GS-5, whereas IL-6 was detected at a much lower level when rats were challenged with NHS1DD, an isogenic mutant defective in the expression of GTFs. The serum IL-6 level was elevated in patients with endocarditis caused by different species of viridans streptococci which express GTF homologues. Affinity column-purified GTFs reduced the levels of detectable IL-2 of T cells stimulated by another bacterial antigen, tetanus toxoid. These results suggested that GTFs might modulate the production of Th1-type cytokines and that GTFs of S. mutans play a significant role in stimulating the production of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6 in vivo.
We have demonstrated previously by Western blotting that in naturally sensitized humans, the serum or salivary antibody response to Streptococcus mutans was directed predominantly to a protein antigen with a size of approximately 60-kDa. To identify this immunodominant antigen, specific serum antibodies were eluted from immunoblots and five positive clones with inserts ranging in length from 3 to 8 kb from identical chromosomal loci were obtained by screening a genomic expression library of Streptococcus mutans GS-5. Amino acid sequencing established the identity of this immunodominant antigen, a 60-kDa immunodominant glycoprotein (IDG-60), to be a cell wall-associated general stress protein GSP-781, which was originally predicted to have a molecular mass of approximately 45 kDa based on the derived nucleotide sequence. Discrepancy in the molecular mass was also observed in recombinant his-tagged IDG-60 (rIDG-60) expressed from Escherichia coli. Glycosylation, consisting of sialic acid, mannose galactose, and N-acetylgalactosamine, was detected by lectin binding to IDG-60 in cell wall extracts from S. mutans and rIDG-60 expressed in vivo or translated in vitro. Despite the presence of multiple Asn or Ser or Thr glycosylation sites, IDG-60 was resistant to the effect of N-glycosidase F and multiple O-glycosidase molecules but not to β-galactosidase. Insertional inactivation of the gene encoding IDG-60, sagA, resulted in a retarded growth rate, destabilization of the cell wall, and pleiomorphic cell shape with multifold ingrowth of cell wall. In addition, distinct from the parental GS-5 strain, the isogenic mutant GS-51 was unable to survive the challenge of low pH and high osmotic pressure or high temperature. Expression of the wild-type gene in trans within GS-51 from plasmid pDL277 complemented the growth defect and restored normal cell shape. These results suggested that IDG-60 is essential for maintaining the integrity of the cell wall and the uniformity of cell shape, both of which are indispensable for bacteria survival under stress conditions.
Streptococcus mutans, which causes dental caries in the human oral cavity and occasionally causes infective endocarditis in the heart, withstands adverse environmental stress through diverse alterations in protein synthesis. Differential gene expression in response to environmental stress was analyzed by RNA fingerprinting using arbitrarily primed PCR with a panel of 11mer primers designed for differential display in Enterobacteriaceae. Dot and Northern blot hybridization confirmed that the transcription of several genes was up- or down-regulated following exposure to acid shock from pH 7.5 to 5.5. RNA of a gene designated AP-185 (acid-stress protein) was induced specifically by acid treatment, while RNA of GSP-781 (general-stress protein) was up-regulated significantly when bacteria were exposed to high osmolarity and temperature, as well as low pH. The deduced amino acid sequence of AP-185 shares homology (78% identity) with branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase. Cloning and sequence analysis of GSP-781 revealed a potential secreted protein of a molecular mass of about 43 kDa and with a pI predicted to be 5.5. Transcriptional levels of another gene, designated AR-186 (acid-repressed protein), which encodes putative aconitase, were repressed by acid treatment but were enhanced by plasma or serum components. Analogous results were identified in icd and citZ genes, and repression of these genes, along with AR-186, was also observed when they were exposed to high osmolarity and temperature. These results indicate that differential regulation of specific genes at the transcriptional level is triggered by different stress and that genes responsible for glutamate biosynthesis in the citrate pathway are coordinately regulated during the stress response of S. mutans.
We previously reported differential humoral responses to glucosyltransferases (GTFs), with significantly higher saliva and serum antibody levels to GtfD than to GtfB or GtfC. To test the hypothesis that cellular immune responses to these molecules also may differ, peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) and T-cell proliferative responses in young adults and children with distinct genetic backgrounds were determined using purified recombinant GtfC and GtfD. PBMCs from all of the volunteers responded to GtfC and -D, but responses were directed predominantly towards GtfD and were major histocompatibility class II antigen dependent. A predominant T-cell response to GtfD, over GtfC, was detectable at various antigen concentrations ranging from 1 to 20 μg/ml and correlated with the differential serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) and salivary IgA antibody responses to the GTFs. Therefore, in naturally sensitized humans, Streptococcus mutans GTFs stimulate differential humoral and cellular immune responses, with the secreted form of GtfD eliciting a stronger response than the cell wall-associated form of GtfC.
The Zta protein is a key transactivator involved in initiating the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) lytic cascade. In addition to transactivating many viral genes, Zta has the capacity to influence host cellular signals by binding to promoter regions or by interacting with several important cellular factors. Based on the observation that tyrosine kinases play central roles in determining the fate of cells, a kinase display assay was used to investigate whether cells expressing Zta have an altered pattern of kinase expression. The assay revealed that TRK-related tyrosine kinase (TKT) is expressed at significant levels in Zta transfectants but not in control cells. Additional evidence was obtained from Northern and Western blotting. Importantly, the upregulation of phosphorylated TKT and TKT downstream effector matrix metalloproteinase 1 in Zta transfectants hinted that TKT might initiate a signaling cascade in Zta-expressing cells. In addition, deletion analysis of the Zta protein revealed that the transactivation and dimerization domains were both essential for the upregulation of TKT transcription. Moreover, correlation of expression levels of Zta and TKT transcripts in nasopharyngeal carcinoma biopsy specimens was clearly demonstrated by quantitative PCR (Q-PCR), which provides the first evidence for an effect of Zta on cellular gene expression in vivo. These findings offer insight into the virus-cell interactions and may help us elucidate the role of EBV in tumorigenesis.
The interaction of viridans streptococci with components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of infective endocarditis. We have identified a surface protein of Streptococcus mutans which binds the ECM constituent fibronectin (Fn). Initially, we found that S. mutans could adsorb soluble Fn in plasma, but with lower efficiency than Streptococcus pyogenes. In addition, S. mutans could bind immobilized Fn in a dose-dependent manner when tested using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Crude extracts of cell wall-associated proteins or extracellular proteins from S. mutans MT8148 specifically bound Fn through a protein with the molecular mass of ca. 130 kDa, as detected by far-Western immunoblotting. The candidate Fn binding protein (FBP-130) was purified to near homogeneity by using Fn coupled Sepharose 4B affinity column chromatography. A rabbit polyclonal antibody against FBP-130 reacted specifically with a protein of molecular mass of ca. 130 kDa in both cell wall and extracellular fractions, and the abundance of FBP was higher in the former than in the latter fractions. The purified FBP bound specifically to immobilized Fn, whereas the binding of soluble Fn to coated FBP could only be detected in the presence of high concentrations of Fn. The purified FBP, as well as anti-FBP immunoglobulin G, inhibited the adherence of S. mutans to immobilized Fn and endothelial cells (ECV304) in a dose-dependent manner. These results demonstrated that FBP-130 mediated the adherence of S. mutans specifically to Fn and endothelial cells in vitro. The characteristics of S. mutans and FBP-130 in binding Fn confirmed that viridans streptococci adopt different strategies in their interaction with ECM.
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) open reading frame BGLF4 was identified as a potential Ser/Thr protein kinase gene through the recognition of amino acid sequence motifs characteristic of conserved regions within the catalytic domains of protein kinases. In order to investigate this potential kinase activity, BGLF4 was expressed in Escherichia coli and the purified protein was used to generate a specific antiserum. Recombinant vaccinia virus vTF7-3, which expresses the T7 RNA polymerase, was used to infect 293 and 293T cells after transient transfection with a plasmid containing BGLF4 under the control of the T7 promoter. Autophosphorylation of the BGLF4 protein was demonstrated using the specific antiserum in an immune complex kinase assay. In addition, EBNA-1-tagged BGLF4 and EBNA-1 monoclonal antibody 5C11 were used to demonstrate the specificity of the kinase activity and to locate BGLF4 in the cytoplasm of transfected cells. Manganese ions were found to be essential for autophosphorylation of BGLF4, and magnesium can stimulate the activity. BGLF4 can utilize GTP, in addition to ATP, as a phosphate donor in this assay. BGLF4 can phosphorylate histone and casein in vitro. Among the potential viral protein substrates we examined, the EBV early antigen (EA-D, BMRF1), a DNA polymerase accessory factor and an important transactivator during lytic infection, was found to be phosphorylated by BGLF4 in vitro. Amino acids 1 to 26 of BGLF4, but not the predicted conserved catalytic domain, were found to be essential for autophosphorylation of BGLF4.
Two nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cell lines and one keratinocyte cell line could be infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) by cocultivation with virus-producing cells but not by cell-free virus. Using porous culture inserts to manipulate the cell-to-cell contact, we demonstrated that contact between EBV donor B cells and EBV recipient epithelial cells was required for the infection. Cell-to-cell contact not only provided a CR2-independent route of infection but also enhanced CR2-mediated infection in a synergistic manner. Activity of two EBV promoters (Cp and Wp) and expression of EBNA2 were detected in the infected population. A small proportion of the infected cells spontaneously entered an EBV lytic state, which could be induced prominently by chemical treatment. This study provides information on how EBV may infect epithelial cells in vivo, such as at the onset of NPC development.
Streptococcus mutans glucosyltransferases (GTFs; GtfB, -C, and -D) synthesize water-soluble and -insoluble glucan polymers from sucrose. We have identified previously a conserved region of 19 amino acids (aa) (Gtf-P1; aa 409 to 427 of GtfB and aa 435 to 453 of GtfC) which is functionally important for both enzymatic activity and bacterial adherence. Monoclonal antibodies directed against Gtf-P1 selectively inhibited insoluble glucan synthesis by GtfB and -C but had no effect on soluble glucan synthesis by GtfD, suggesting that despite an apparent near identity of sequence, corresponding residues may function differently in these enzymes. To test this hypothesis, we used different strategies of mutagenesis to analyze amino acid residues of GtfB and GtfC in Gtf-P1. In-frame insertion of 6 amino acids preceding, or deletion of 14 amino acids within, this conserved region abolished the enzymatic activities of both GtfB and GtfC. Substitution of several residues in combination by random mutagenesis resulted in GtfB, but not GtfC, enzymes exhibiting decreased glucan synthesis and reduced rates of sucrose hydrolysis. Amino acid substitutions of Asp residues in GtfB or GtfC were found to be more critical for enzymatic activity than at other positions of this region. Interestingly, single mutation at Asp411 or Asp413 of GtfB resulted in enzymes retaining about 20% of wild-type activity, whereas mutagenesis of the corresponding Asp at position 437 or 439 in GtfC resulted in complete loss of enzymatic activity. Furthermore, single amino acid substitution of a Val residue between the two Asp residues enhanced the sucrase- and glucan-synthesizing activities of GtfB and GtfC. These results confirmed the report from another laboratory that Asp residues in the Gtf-P1 region are essential for enzymatic catalysis and provide new evidence that identical residues may function differently in closely related Gtf enzymes.
Seroepidemiological studies imply a correlation between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation and the development of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). N-nitroso compounds, phorbols, and butyrates are chemicals found in food and herb samples collected from NPC high-risk areas. These chemicals have been reported to be risk factors contributing to the development of NPC, however, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. We have demonstrated previously that low dose N-methyl-N’-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG, 0.1 µg/ml) had a synergistic effect with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and sodium butyrate (SB) in enhancing EBV reactivation and genome instability in NPC cells harboring EBV. Considering that residents in NPC high-risk areas may contact regularly with these chemical carcinogens, it is vital to elucidate the relation between chemicals and EBV and their contributions to the carcinogenesis of NPC. In this study, we constructed a cell culture model to show that genome instability, alterations of cancer hallmark gene expression, and tumorigenicity were increased after recurrent EBV reactivation in NPC cells following combined treatment of TPA/SB and MNNG. NPC cells latently infected with EBV, NA, and the corresponding EBV-negative cell, NPC-TW01, were periodically treated with MNNG, TPA/SB, or TPA/SB combined with MNNG. With chemically-induced recurrent reactivation of EBV, the degree of genome instability was significantly enhanced in NA cells treated with a combination of TPA/SB and MNNG than those treated individually. The Matrigel invasiveness, as well as the tumorigenicity in mouse, was also enhanced in NA cells after recurrent EBV reactivation. Expression profile analysis by microarray indicates that many carcinogenesis-related genes were altered after recurrent EBV reactivation, and several aberrations observed in cell lines correspond to alterations in NPC lesions. These results indicate that cooperation between chemical carcinogens can enhance the reactivation of EBV and, over recurrent reactivations, lead to alteration of cancer hallmark gene expression with resultant enhancement of tumorigenesis in NPC.
A case-control study was conducted to evaluate the role of adult diet on nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in Taiwan.
A total of 375 incident NPC cases and 327 controls matched to the cases on sex, age, and residence were recruited between July 1991 and December 1994. A structured questionnaire inquiring complete dietary history, socio-demographic characteristics, and other potential confounding factors was used in the personal interview. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was used to estimate multivariate-adjusted odds ratio (ORadj) with 95% confidence interval (CI) after accounting for known risk factors.
Fresh fish (ORadj, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.38–0.83 for the highest vs. lowest tertile of intake), green tea (ORadj, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.40–0.91 for drinking ≥1 times/week vs. never) and coffee (ORadj, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.37–0.85 for drinking ≥0.5 times/week vs. never) were inversely associated with the NPC risk. No association with NPC risk was observed for the intake of meats, salted fish, fresh vegetables, fruits and milk. Intake of vitamin A from plant sources was associated with a decreased NPC risk (ORadj, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.41–0.94 for the highest vs. lowest tertile).
The study findings suggest that certain adult dietary patterns might protect against the development of NPC.