[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ORF74 or vGCR gene encoded by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV; also called human herpesvirus 8) has properties of a ligand-independent membrane receptor signaling protein with angiogenic properties that is predicted to play a key role in the biology of the virus. We have examined the expression of vGCR mRNA and protein in primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cell lines, PEL and multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD) tumors, Kaposi's sarcoma lesions and infected endothelial cell cultures. The vGCR gene proved to be expressed in PEL cell lines as a large spliced bicistronic mRNA of 3.2 kb that also encompasses the upstream vOX2 (K14) gene. This mRNA species was induced strongly by phorbol ester (TPA) and sodium butyrate treatment in the BCBL-1 cell line, but only weakly in the HBL6 cell line, and was classified as a relatively late and low-abundance delayed early class lytic cycle gene product. A complex bipartite upstream lytic cycle promoter for this mRNA was nestled within the intron of the 5'-overlapping but oppositely oriented latent-state transcription unit for LANA1/vCYC-D/vFLIP and responded strongly to both TPA induction and cotransfection with the KSHV RNA transactivator protein (RTA or ORF50) in transient reporter gene assays. A vGCR protein product of 45 kDa that readily dimerized was detected by Western blotting and in vitro translation and was localized in a cytoplasmic and membrane pattern in DNA-transfected Vero and 293T cells or adenovirus vGCR-transduced dermal microvascular endothelial cells (DMVEC) as detected by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and immunohistochemistry with a specific rabbit anti-vGCR antibody. Similarly, a subfraction of KSHV-positive cultured PEL cells and of KSHV (JSC-1) persistently infected DMVEC cells displayed cytoplasmic vGCR protein expression, but only after TPA or spontaneous lytic cycle induction, respectively. The vGCR protein was also detectable by immunohistochemical staining in a small fraction (0.5 to 3%) of the cells in PEL and MCD tumor and nodular Kaposi's sarcoma lesion specimens that were apparently undergoing lytic cycle expression. These properties are difficult to reconcile with the vGCR protein's playing a direct role in spindle cell proliferation, transformation, or latency, but could be compatible with proposed contributions to angiogenesis via downstream paracrine effects. The ability of vGCR to transactivate expression of both several KSHV promoter-driven luciferase (LUC) reporter genes and an NFkappaB motif containing the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene may also suggest an unexpected regulatory role in viral gene expression.
Journal of Virology 05/2002; 76(7):3421-39. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the tumor cells of some EBV-associated malignancies may facilitate selective killing of these tumor cells. We show that treatment of an EBV(+) Burkitt's lymphoma cell line with 5-azacytidine led to a dose-dependent induction of EBV lytic antigen expression, including expression of the viral thymidine kinase (TK) and phosphotransferase (PT). Azacytidine treatment for 24 h modestly sensitized the cell line to all nucleosides tested. To better characterize EBV TK with regard to various nucleoside analogues, we expressed EBV TK in stable cell clones. Two EBV TK-expressing clones were moderately sensitive to high doses of acyclovir and penciclovir (PCV) (62.5 to 500 microM) and to lower doses of ganciclovir (GCV) and bromovinyldeoxyuridine (BVdU) (10 to 100 microM) compared to a control clone and were shown to phosphorylate GCV. Similar experiments in a transient overexpression system showed more killing of cells transfected with the EBV TK expression vector than of cells transfected with the control mutant vector (50 microM GCV for 4 days). A putative PT was also studied in the transient transfection system and appeared similar to the TK in phosphorylating GCV and conferring sensitivity to GCV, but not in BVdU- or PCV-mediated cell killing. Induction of EBV kinases in combination with agents such as GCV merits further evaluation as an alternative strategy to gene therapy for selective killing of EBV-infected cells.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 08/2001; 45(7):2082-91. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angiogenic Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) skin lesions found in both AIDS and non-AIDS patients are universally associated with infection by the presumed causative agent, known as KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) or human herpesvirus 8. KSHV genomes expressing latent state virus-encoded mRNAs and the LANA1 (latent nuclear antigen 1) protein are consistently present in spindle-like tumor cells that are thought to be of endothelial cell origin. Although the KSHV lytic cycle can be induced in rare latently infected primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cell lines, the ability to transmit or assay infectious KSHV has so far eluded investigators. Here, we demonstrate that infection with supernatant virions derived from three different tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate-induced PEL cell lines can induce cultured primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (DMVEC) to form colonies of proliferating latently infected spindle-shaped cells, all of which express the KSHV-encoded LANA1 protein. Although their initial infectivity varied widely (JSC1 > > BC3 > BCP1), virions from all three cell lines produced distinctive spindle cell colonies and plaques without affecting the contact-inhibited cobblestone-like phenotype of adjacent uninfected DMVEC. Each infected culture could also be expanded into a completely spindloid persistently infected culture displaying aggregated swirls of spindle cells resembling those in KS lesions. Formation of new colonies and plaques was inhibited in the presence of phosphonoacetic acid or gangciclovir, but these antiherpesvirus agents had little effect on the propagation of already latently infected spindloid cultures. In persistently infected secondary cultures, patches of up to 10% of the spindloid cells constitutively expressed several early viral lytic cycle proteins, and 1 to 2% of the cells also formed typical herpesvirus DNA replication compartments, displayed cytopathic rounding effects, and expressed late viral antigens. We conclude that de novo KSHV infection induces a spindle cell conversion phenotype in primary DMVEC cultures that is directly associated with latent state expression of the LANA1 protein. However, these cultures also spontaneously reactivate to produce an unusual combination of both latent and productive but slow lytic cycle infection. The formation of spindle cell colonies and plaques in DMVEC cultures provides for the first time a quantitative assay for directly measuring the infectivity of KSHV virion preparations.
Journal of Virology 06/2001; 75(12):5614-26. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cell line, JSC-1, that yields highly infectious Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) supernatants was established from the ascitic fluid of a human immunodeficiency virus-positive patient. Flow cytometry showed strong expression of CD45 and lambda light-chain restriction. Southern blot hybridization showed immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene rearrangements in the tumor and the resultant cell line consistent with B-cell lineage. Expression of viral genes was assessed by reverse transcription-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Only latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) gene expression was detected, and this was at a low level. In contrast, lytic and latent KSHV gene expression were detected. Tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate and butyrate upregulated KSHV lytic expression, but not EBV lytic expression. Viral supernatant from JSC-1 was much more efficient at infecting primary human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (DMVECs) with KSHV than supernatants from BC-3 or BCP-1 PEL cell lines. Quantitation of viral yields produced by the PEL lines showed at least 2 orders of magnitude more DNase I-resistant KSHV DNA in the JSC-1 supernatant compared to BC-3 or BCP-1 supernatants. KSHV infection in DMVECs was associated with a change from a cobblestone to a spindle shape, LANA expression, and an increased number of mitoses.
Journal of Virology 12/2000; 74(21):10187-93. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to characterize the expression of the viral interleukin-6 (vIL-6) homologue in various human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8)-associated diseases, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were applied to formalin-fixed specimens. These assays showed consistent expression of vIL-6 in primary effusion lymphomas and in a case of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated lymphadenopathy with a Castleman's disease-like appearance. In contrast, Kaposi's sarcoma specimens showed marked differences among specimens. In a consecutive series of specimens from the Johns Hopkins archives, vIL-6 expression was demonstrated in one of 13 cases. However, among 7 specimens selected from the AIDS Malignancy Bank because of their high levels of the T1.1 lytic transcript and virion production, vIL-6 expression was consistently demonstrated in infiltrating mononuclear cells and occasional spindle-shaped cells. Thus vIL-6 expression in clinical specimens correlates with other measures of the lytic viral cycle. Both assays generally give congruent results and are consistent with the possibility that vIL-6 expression plays a role in the pathogenesis of a variety of HHV-8-associated diseases.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/1999; 180(3):824-8. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kaposi's sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) DNA is found consistently in nearly all classical, endemic, transplant, and AIDS-associated KS lesions, as well as in several AIDS-associated lymphomas. We have previously sequenced the genes for the highly variable open reading frame K1 (ORF-K1) protein from more than 60 different HHV8 samples and demonstrated that they display up to 30% amino acid variability and cluster into four very distinct evolutionary subgroups (the A, B, C, and D subtypes) that correlate with the major migrationary diasporas of modern humans. Here we have extended this type of analysis to six other loci across the HHV8 genome to further evaluate overall genotype patterns and the potential for chimeric genomes. Comparison of the relatively conserved ORF26, T0.7/K12, and ORF75 gene regions at map positions 0. 35, 0.85, and 0.96 revealed typical ORF-K1-linked subtype patterns, except that between 20 and 30% of the genomes analyzed proved to be either intertypic or intratypic mosaics. In addition, a 2,500-bp region found at the extreme right-hand side of the unique segment in 45 HHV8 genomes proved to be highly diverged from the 3,500-bp sequence found at this position in the other 18 HHV8 genomes examined. Furthermore, these previously uncharacterized "orphan" region sequences proved to encompass multiexon latent-state mRNAs encoding two highly diverged alleles of the novel ORF-K15 protein. The predominant (P) and minor (M) forms of HHV8 ORF-K15 are structurally related integral membrane proteins that have only 33% overall amino acid identity to one another but retain conserved likely tyrosine kinase signaling motifs and may be distant evolutionary relatives of the LMP2 latency protein of Epstein-Barr virus. The M allele of ORF-K15 is also physically linked to a distinctive M subtype of the adjacent ORF75 gene locus, and in some cases, this linkage extends as far back as the T0.7 locus also. Overall, the results suggest that an original recombination event with a related primate virus from an unknown source introduced exogenous right-hand side ORF-K15(M) sequences into an ancient M form of HHV8, followed by eventual acquisition into the subtype C lineage of the modern P-form of the HHV8 genome and subsequent additional, more recent transfers by homologous recombination events into several subtype A and B lineages as well.
Journal of Virology 09/1999; 73(8):6646-60. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) sensitivity to the nucleoside analog ganciclovir (GCV) suggests the presence of a virally encoded kinase that catalyzes the initial phosphorylation of GCV. Analysis of the HHV-8 genome identified two candidate kinases: proteins encoded by open reading frame (ORF) 21, with homology to the herpesvirus thymidine kinases (TK), and ORF 36, with homology to the herpesvirus phosphotransferases (PT). Experiments presented here show that both ORF 21 and ORF 36 encode GCV kinase activities as demonstrated by GCV phosphorylation and GCV-mediated cell death. In both regards the PT homologue ORF 36 was more active than the TK homologue ORF 21. ORF 21, but not ORF 36, weakly sensitized cells to killing by penciclovir. Neither ORF sensitized cells to killing by (E)-5-(2-bromovinyl)-2'-deoxyuridine.
Journal of Virology 07/1999; 73(6):4786-93. · 5.08 Impact Factor