Progressive accumulation of activated ERK2 within highly stable ORF45-containing nuclear complexes promotes lytic gammaherpesvirus infection.
ABSTRACT: De novo infection with the gammaherpesvirus Rhesus monkey rhadinovirus (RRV), a close homolog of the human oncogenic pathogen, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), led to persistent activation of the MEK/ERK pathway and increasing nuclear accumulation of pERK2 complexed with the RRV protein, ORF45 (R45) and cellular RSK. We have previously shown that both lytic gene expression and virion production are dependent on the activation of ERK . Using confocal microscopy, sequential pull-down assays and FRET analyses, we have demonstrated that pERK2-R45-RSK2 complexes were restricted to the nucleus but that the activated ERK retained its ability to phosphorylate nuclear substrates throughout infection. Furthermore, even with pharmacologic inhibition of MEK beginning at 48 h p.i., pERK2 but not pERK1, remained elevated for at least 10 h, showing first order decay and a half-life of nearly 3 hours. Transfection of rhesus fibroblasts with R45 alone also led to the accumulation of nuclear pERK2 and addition of exogenous RSK augmented this effect. However, knock down of RSK during bona fide RRV infection had little to no effect on pERK2 accumulation or virion production. The cytoplasmic pools of pERK showed no co-localization with either RSK or R45 but activation of pERK downstream targets in this compartment was evident throughout infection. Together, these observations suggest a model in which R45 interacts with pERK2 to promote its nuclear accumulation, thereby promoting lytic viral gene expression while also preserving persistent and robust activation of both nuclear and cytoplasmic ERK targets.
Project description:During their progression from intranuclear capsids to mature trilaminar virions, herpesviruses incorporate an extensive array of viral as well as a smaller subset of cellular proteins. Our laboratory previously reported that rhesus monkey rhadinovirus (RRV), a close homolog of the human pathogen Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), is comprised of at least 33 different virally encoded proteins. In the current study, we found that RRV infection activated the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway and nascent virions preferentially incorporated the activated form of ERK2 (pERK2) into the tegument. This was evident even in the face of greatly diminished stores of intracellular ERK2, suggesting a clear bias toward the incorporation of pERK2 into the RRV particle. Similar to earlier findings with KSHV, activation of ERK was essential for the production of lytic viral proteins and virions. Knockdown of intracellular ERK, however, failed to inhibit virus production, likely due to maintenance of residual pools of intracellular pERK2. Paradoxically, selective knockdown of ERK1 enhanced virion production nearly 5-fold and viral titers more than 10-fold. These data are the first to implicate ERK1 as a negative regulator of lytic replication in a herpesvirus and the first to demonstrate the incorporation of an activated signaling molecule within a herpesvirus. Together, the results further our understanding of how herpesviruses interact with host cells during infection and demonstrate how this family of viruses can exploit cellular signal transduction pathways to modulate their own replication.
Project description:Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) is an oncogenic virus which has adapted unique mechanisms to modulate the cellular microenvironment of its human host. The pathogenesis of KSHV is intimately linked to its manipulation of cellular signaling pathways, including the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. We have previously shown that KSHV ORF45 contributes to the sustained activation of both ERK and p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK, a major functional mediator of ERK/MAPK signaling) during KSHV lytic replication. ORF45-activated RSK is required for optimal KSHV lytic gene expression and progeny virion production, though the underlying mechanisms downstream of this activation are still unclear. We hypothesized that the activation of RSK by ORF45 causes differential phosphorylation of cellular and viral substrates, affecting biological processes essential for efficient KSHV lytic replication. Accordingly, we observed widespread and significant differences in protein phosphorylation upon induction of lytic replication. Mass-spectrometry-based phosphoproteomic screening identified putative substrates of ORF45-activated RSK in KSHV-infected cells. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that nuclear proteins, including several transcriptional regulators, were overrepresented among these candidates. We validated the ORF45/RSK-dependent phosphorylation of several putative substrates by employing KSHV BAC mutagenesis, kinase inhibitor treatments, and/or CRISPR-mediated knockout of RSK in KSHV-infected cells. Furthermore, we assessed the consequences of knocking out these substrates on ORF45/RSK-dependent regulation of gene expression and KSHV progeny virion production. Finally, we show data to support that ORF45 regulates the translational efficiency of a subset of viral/cellular genes with complex secondary structure in their 5' UTR. Altogether, these data shed light on the mechanisms by which KSHV ORF45 manipulates components of the host cell machinery via modulation of RSK activity. Thus, this study has important implications for the pathobiology of KSHV and other diseases in which RSK activity is dysregulated.
Project description:Although p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) is known as an important downstream effector of the ribosomal protein S6 kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Ras/ERK) pathway, its endogenous role, and precise molecular function remain unclear. Using gain-of-function and null mutants of RSK, its physiological role was successfully characterized in Drosophila. Surprisingly, RSK-null mutants were viable, but exhibited developmental abnormalities related to an enhanced ERK-dependent cellular differentiation such as ectopic photoreceptor- and vein-cell formation. Conversely, overexpression of RSK dramatically suppressed the ERK-dependent differentiation, which was further augmented by mutations in the Ras/ERK pathway. Consistent with these physiological phenotypes, RSK negatively regulated ERK-mediated developmental processes and gene expressions by blocking the nuclear localization of ERK in a kinase activity-independent manner. In addition, we further demonstrated that the RSK-dependent inhibition of ERK nuclear migration is mediated by the physical association between ERK and RSK. Collectively, our study reveals a novel regulatory mechanism of the Ras/ERK pathway by RSK, which negatively regulates ERK activity by acting as a cytoplasmic anchor in Drosophila.
Project description:Investigation of protein activation in living cells is fundamental to understanding how proteins are influenced by the full complement of upstream regulators they experience. Here, we describe the generation of a biosensor based on the DARPin binding scaffold suited for intracellular applications. Combining library selection and knowledge-based design, we created an ERK activity biosensor by derivatizing a DARPin specific for phosphorylated ERK with a solvatochromatic merocyanine dye, whose fluorescence increases upon pERK binding. The biosensor specifically responded to pERK2, recognized by its conformation, but not to ERK2 or other closely related mitogen-activated kinases tested. Activated endogenous ERK was visualized in mouse embryo fibroblasts, revealing greater activation in the nucleus, perinuclear regions, and especially the nucleoli. The DARPin-based biosensor will serve as a useful tool for studying biological functions of ERK in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:Withaferin A (WFA) is a steroidal lactone with antitumor effects manifested at multiple levels that are mechanistically obscure. Using a phospho-kinase screening array, we discovered that WFA activated phosphorylation of the S6 kinase RSK (ribosomal S6 kinase) in breast cancer cells. Pursuing this observation, we defined activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-RSK and ETS-like transcription factor 1 (Elk1)-CHOP (C-EBP homologous protein) kinase pathways in upregulating transcription of the death receptor 5 (DR5). Through this route, WFA acted as an effective DR5 activator capable of potentiating the biologic effects of celecoxib, etoposide, and TRAIL. Accordingly, WFA treatment inhibited breast tumor formation in xenograft and mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-neu mouse models in a manner associated with activation of the ERK/RSK axis, DR5 upregulation, and elevated nuclear accumulation of Elk1 and CHOP. Together, our results offer mechanistic insight into how WFA inhibits breast tumor growth.
Project description:Cytokinesis is the final stage in cell division. Although integrins can regulate cytokinesis, the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. In this study, we demonstrate that integrin-regulated ERK (extracellular signal-related kinase) and RSK (p90 ribosomal S6 kinase) signaling promotes successful cytokinesis. Inhibiting the activation of ERK and RSK in CHO cells by a mutation in the integrin ?1 cytoplasmic tail or with pharmacological inhibitors results in the accumulation of cells with midbodies and the formation of binucleated cells. Activation of ERK and RSK signaling by the expression of constitutively active RAF1 suppresses the mutant phenotype in a RSK-dependent manner. Constitutively active RSK2 also restores cytokinesis inhibited by the mutant integrin. Importantly, the regulatory role of the RSK pathway is not specific to CHO cells. MCF-10A human mammary epithelial cells and HPNE human pancreatic ductal epithelial cells exhibit a similar dependence on RSK for successful cytokinesis. In addition, depriving mitotic MCF10A cells of integrin-mediated adhesion by incubating them in suspension suppressed ERK and RSK activation and resulted in a failure of cytokinesis. Furthermore, inhibition of RSK or integrins within the 3D context of a developing salivary gland organ explant also leads to an accumulation of epithelial cells with midbodies, suggesting a similar defect in cytokinesis. Interestingly, neither ERK nor RSK regulates cytokinesis in human fibroblasts, suggesting cell-type specificity. Taken together, our results identify the integrin-RSK signaling axis as an important regulator of cytokinesis in epithelial cells. We propose that the proper interaction of cells with their microenvironment through integrins contributes to the maintenance of genomic stability by promoting the successful completion of cytokinesis.
Project description:During lytic replication of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), a nuclear viral long noncoding RNA known as PAN RNA becomes the most abundant polyadenylated transcript in the cell. Knockout or knockdown of KSHV PAN RNA results in loss of late lytic viral gene expression and, consequently, reduction of progeny virion release from the cell. We studied KSHV and RRV PAN RNA homologs using capture hybridization analysis of RNA targets (CHART) and observed their reproducible associations with host chromatin, but the loci differ between PAN RNA homologs. Overall design: Examination of the binding sites of viral PAN RNA in KSHV-infected BCBL-1 cells and RRV-infected BJAB-RRV cells. Latent samples, as well as three timepoints of lytic viral induction were analyzed for each cell type (BCBL-1: 16 hr, 24 hr and 48 hr; BJAB-RRV: 18 hr, 24 hr, 36 hr).
Project description:UNLABELLED:We have previously shown that ORF45, an immediate-early and tegument protein of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), causes sustained activation of p90 ribosomal S6 kinases (RSKs) and extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) (E. Kuang, Q. Tang, G. G. Maul, and F. Zhu, J Virol 82:1838-1850, 2008, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02119-07). We now have identified the critical region of ORF45 that is involved in RSK interaction and activation. Alanine scanning mutagenesis of this region revealed that a single F66A point mutation abolished binding of ORF45 to RSK or ERK and, consequently, its ability to activate the kinases. We introduced the F66A mutation into BAC16 (a bacterial artificial chromosome clone containing the entire infectious KSHV genome), producing BAC16-45F66A. In parallel, we also repaired the mutation and obtained a revertant, BAC16-45A66F. The reconstitution of these mutants in iSLK cells demonstrated that the ORF45-F66A mutant failed to cause sustained ERK and RSK activation during lytic reactivation, resulting in dramatic differences in the phosphoproteomic profile between the wild-type virus-infected cells and the mutant virus-infected cells. ORF45 mutation or deletion also was accompanied by a noticeable decreased in viral gene expression during lytic reactivation. Consequently, the ORF45-F66A mutant produced significantly fewer infectious progeny virions than the wild type or the revertant. These results suggest a critical role for ORF45-mediated RSK activation in KSHV lytic replication. IMPORTANCE:KSHV is the causative agent of three human malignancies. KSHV pathogenesis is intimately linked to its ability to modulate the host cell microenvironment and to facilitate efficient production of progeny viral particles. We previously described the mechanism by which the KSHV lytic protein ORF45 activates the cellular kinases ERK and RSK. We now have mapped the critical region of ORF45 responsible for binding and activation of ERK/RSK to a single residue, F66. We mutated this amino acid of ORF45 (F66A) and introduced the mutation into a newly developed bacterial artificial chromosome containing the KSHV genome (BAC16). This system has provided us with a useful tool to characterize the functions of ORF45-activated RSK upon KSHV lytic reactivation. We show that viral gene expression and virion production are significantly reduced by F66A mutation, indicating a critical role for ORF45-activated RSK during KSHV lytic replication.
Project description:Deregulation of signal transduction pathways (STPs) may promote leukemogenesis by conferring cell proliferation and survival advantages in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Several agents targeting STPs are under development; however, redundancy and cross-talk between STPs could activate multiple downstream effectors and this could negate the effect of single-target inhibition. The frequency of concurrent activation of multiple STPs in AML and the prognostic relevance of STP activation in AML are unknown. STP protein expression (PKCalpha, ERK2, pERK2, AKT, and pAKT) was measured by Western blot in samples from 188 patients with newly diagnosed, untreated AML. In univariate and multivariate analysis high levels of PKCalpha, ERK, pERK, and pAKT, but not AKT, were adverse factors for survival as was the combination variable PKCalpha-ERK2&pERK2-pAKT. Survival progressively decreased as the number of activated pathways increased. Patients were more likely to have none or all 3 pathways activated than was predicted based on the frequency of individual pathway activation, strongly suggesting that cross-activation occurred. Simultaneous activation of multiple STPs is common in AML and has a progressively worse adverse effect on prognosis. It is thus likely that only combinations of agents that target the multiply activated STPs will be beneficial for patients with AML.
Project description:The major participants of the Ras/ERK and PI3-kinase (PI3K) pathways are well characterized. The cellular response to activation of these pathways, however, can vary dramatically. How differences in signal strength, timing, spatial location, and cellular context promote specific cell-fate decisions remains unclear. Nuclear transport processes can have a major impact on the determination of cell fate; however, little is known regarding how nuclear transport is regulated by or regulates these pathways. Here we show that RSK and Akt, which are activated downstream of Ras/ERK and PI3K, respectively, modulate the Ran gradient and nuclear transport by interacting with, phosphorylating, and regulating Ran-binding protein 3 (RanBP3) function. Our findings highlight an important link between two major cell-fate determinants: nuclear transport and the Ras/ERK/RSK and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways.