Article

Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 3C facilitates G1-S transition by stabilizing and enhancing the function of cyclin D1.

Department of Microbiology and Tumor Virology Program, Abramson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
PLoS Pathogens (Impact Factor: 8.06). 02/2011; 7(2):e1001275. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001275
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT EBNA3C, one of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded latent antigens, is essential for primary B-cell transformation. Cyclin D1, a key regulator of G1 to S phase progression, is tightly associated and aberrantly expressed in numerous human cancers. Previously, EBNA3C was shown to bind to Cyclin D1 in vitro along with Cyclin A and Cyclin E. In the present study, we provide evidence which demonstrates that EBNA3C forms a complex with Cyclin D1 in human cells. Detailed mapping experiments show that a small N-terminal region which lies between amino acids 130-160 of EBNA3C binds to two different sites of Cyclin D1- the N-terminal pRb binding domain (residues 1-50), and C-terminal domain (residues 171-240), known to regulate Cyclin D1 stability. Cyclin D1 is short-lived and ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation has been targeted as a means of therapeutic intervention. Here, we show that EBNA3C stabilizes Cyclin D1 through inhibition of its poly-ubiquitination, and also increases its nuclear localization by blocking GSK3β activity. We further show that EBNA3C enhances the kinase activity of Cyclin D1/CDK6 which enables subsequent ubiquitination and degradation of pRb. EBNA3C together with Cyclin D1-CDK6 complex also efficiently nullifies the inhibitory effect of pRb on cell growth. Moreover, an sh-RNA based strategy for knock-down of both cyclin D1 and EBNA3C genes in EBV transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) shows a significant reduction in cell-growth. Based on these results, we propose that EBNA3C can stabilize as well as enhance the functional activity of Cyclin D1 thereby facilitating the G1-S transition in EBV transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines.

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