Stealing the Show: KSHV Hijacks Host RNA Regulatory Pathways to Promote Infection.
ABSTRACT: Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) induces life-long infections and has evolved many ways to exert extensive control over its host's transcriptional and post-transcriptional machinery to gain better access to resources and dampened immune sensing. The hallmark of this takeover is how KSHV reshapes RNA fate both to control expression of its own gene but also that of its host. From the nucleus to the cytoplasm, control of RNA expression, localization, and decay is a process that is carefully tuned by a multitude of factors and that can adapt or react to rapid changes in the environment. Intriguingly, it appears that KSHV has found ways to co-opt each of these pathways for its own benefit. Here we provide a comprehensive review of recent work in this area and in particular recent advances on the post-transcriptional modifications front. Overall, this review highlights the myriad of ways KSHV uses to control RNA fate and gathers novel insights gained from the past decade of research at the interface of RNA biology and the field of KSHV research.
Project description:Locally concentrated nuclear factors ensure efficient binding to DNA templates, facilitating RNA polymerase II recruitment and frequent reutilization of stable preinitiation complexes. We have uncovered a mechanism for effective viral transcription by focal assembly of RNA polymerase II around Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) genomes in the host cell nucleus. Using immunofluorescence labeling of latent nuclear antigen (LANA) protein, together with fluorescence in situ RNA hybridization (RNA-FISH) of the intron region of immediate early transcripts, we visualized active transcription of viral genomes in naturally infected cells. At the single-cell level, we found that not all episomes were uniformly transcribed following reactivation stimuli. However, those episomes that were being transcribed would spontaneously aggregate to form transcriptional "factories," which recruited a significant fraction of cellular RNA polymerase II. Focal assembly of "viral transcriptional factories" decreased the pool of cellular RNA polymerase II available for cellular gene transcription, which consequently impaired cellular gene expression globally, with the exception of selected ones. The viral transcriptional factories localized with replicating viral genomic DNAs. The observed colocalization of viral transcriptional factories with replicating viral genomic DNA suggests that KSHV assembles an "all-in-one" factory for both gene transcription and DNA replication. We propose that the assembly of RNA polymerase II around viral episomes in the nucleus may be a previously unexplored aspect of KSHV gene regulation by confiscation of a limited supply of RNA polymerase II in infected cells.IMPORTANCE B cells infected with Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) harbor multiple copies of the KSHV genome in the form of episomes. Three-dimensional imaging of viral gene expression in the nucleus allows us to study interactions and changes in the physical distribution of these episomes following stimulation. The results showed heterogeneity in the responses of individual KSHV episomes to stimuli within a single reactivating cell; those episomes that did respond to stimulation, aggregated within large domains that appear to function as viral transcription factories. A significant portion of cellular RNA polymerase II was trapped in these factories and served to transcribe viral genomes, which coincided with an overall decrease in cellular gene expression. Our findings uncover a strategy of KSHV gene regulation through focal assembly of KSHV episomes and a molecular mechanism of late gene expression.
Project description:Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), a malignancy commonly found in AIDS patients. Whether KS is a true neoplasm or hyperplasia has been a subject of intensive debate until recently when KSHV is unequivocally shown to efficiently infect, immortalize and transform rat primary mesenchymal precursor cells (MM). Moreover, KSHV-transformed MM cells (KMM) efficiently induce tumors with hallmark features of KS when inoculated into nude mice. Here, we showed Smad1 as a novel binding protein of KSHV latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA). LANA interacted with and sustained BMP-activated p-Smad1 in the nucleus and enhanced its loading on the Id promoters. As a result, Ids were significantly up-regulated in KMM cells and abundantly expressed in human KS lesions. Strikingly, genetic and chemical inhibition of the BMP-Smad1-Id pathway blocked the oncogenic phenotype of KSHV-transformed cells in vitro and in vivo. These findings illustrate a novel mechanism by which a tumor virus hijacks and converts a developmental pathway into an indispensable oncogenic pathway for tumorigenesis. Importantly, our results demonstrate the efficacy of targeting the BMP-Smad1-Id pathway for inhibiting the growth of KSHV-induced tumors, and therefore identify the BMP pathway as a promising therapeutic target for KS.
Project description:Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture is well documented to regain intrinsic metabolic properties and to better mimic the in vivo situation than two-dimensional (2D) cell culture. Particularly, proline metabolism is critical for tumorigenesis since pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) reductase (PYCR/P5CR) is highly expressed in various tumors and its enzymatic activity is essential for in vitro 3D tumor cell growth and in vivo tumorigenesis. PYCR converts the P5C intermediate to proline as a biosynthesis pathway, whereas proline dehydrogenase (PRODH) breaks down proline to P5C as a degradation pathway. Intriguingly, expressions of proline biosynthesis PYCR gene and proline degradation PRODH gene are up-regulated directly by c-Myc oncoprotein and p53 tumor suppressor, respectively, suggesting that the proline-P5C metabolic axis is a key checkpoint for tumor cell growth. Here, we report a metabolic reprogramming of 3D tumor cell growth by oncogenic Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), an etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma and primary effusion lymphoma. Metabolomic analyses revealed that KSHV infection increased nonessential amino acid metabolites, specifically proline, in 3D culture, not in 2D culture. Strikingly, the KSHV K1 oncoprotein interacted with and activated PYCR enzyme, increasing intracellular proline concentration. Consequently, the K1-PYCR interaction promoted tumor cell growth in 3D spheroid culture and tumorigenesis in nude mice. In contrast, depletion of PYCR expression markedly abrogated K1-induced tumor cell growth in 3D culture, not in 2D culture. This study demonstrates that an increase of proline biosynthesis induced by K1-PYCR interaction is critical for KSHV-mediated transformation in in vitro 3D culture condition and in vivo tumorigenesis.
Project description:Herpesviruses exist in two states, latency and a lytic productive cycle. Here we identify an immediate-early gene encoded by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)/human herpesvirus eight (HHV8) that activates lytic cycle gene expression from the latent viral genome. The gene is a homologue of Rta, a transcriptional activator encoded by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). KSHV/Rta activated KSHV early lytic genes, including virus-encoded interleukin 6 and polyadenylated nuclear RNA, and a late gene, small viral capsid antigen. In cells dually infected with Epstein-Barr virus and KSHV, each Rta activated only autologous lytic cycle genes. Expression of viral cytokines under control of the KSHV/Rta gene is likely to contribute to the pathogenesis of KSHV-associated diseases.
Project description:Precise promoter annotation is required for understanding the mechanistic basis of transcription initiation. In the context of complex genomes, such as herpesviruses where there is extensive genic overlap, identification of transcription start sites (TSSs) is particularly problematic and cannot be comprehensively accessed by standard RNA sequencing approaches. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is an oncogenic gammaherpesvirus and the etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma and the B cell lymphoma primary effusion lymphoma (PEL). Here, we leverage RNA annotation and mapping of promoters for analysis of gene expression (RAMPAGE) and define KSHV TSSs transcriptome-wide and at nucleotide resolution in two widely used models of KSHV infection, namely iSLK.219 cells and the PEL cell line TREx-BCBL1-RTA. By mapping TSSs over a 96 h time course of reactivation we confirm 48 of 50 previously identified TSSs. Moreover, we identify over 100 novel transcription start site clusters (TSCs) in each cell line. Our analyses identified cell-type specific differences in TSC positions as well as promoter strength, and defined motifs within viral core promoters. Collectively, by defining TSSs at high resolution we have greatly expanded the transcriptional landscape of the KSHV genome and identified transcriptional control mechanisms at play during KSHV lytic reactivation.
Project description:CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) has been implicated in various aspects of viral and host chromatin organization and transcriptional control. We showed previously that CTCF binds to a cluster of three sites in the first intron of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) multicistronic latency-associated transcript that encodes latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA), viral cyclin (vCyclin), vFLIP, viral microRNAs, and kaposin. We show here that these CTCF binding sites regulate mRNA production, RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) programming, and nucleosome organization of the KSHV latency transcript control region. We also show that KSHV bacmids lacking these CTCF binding sites have elevated and altered ratios of spliced latency transcripts. CTCF binding site mutations altered RNAPII and RNAPII-accessory factor interactions with the latency control region. CTCF binding sites were required for the in vitro recruitment of RNAPII to the latency control region, suggesting that direct interactions between CTCF and RNAPII contribute to transcription regulation. Histone modifications in the latency control region were also altered by mutations in the CTCF binding sites. Finally, we show that CTCF binding alters the regular phasing of nucleosomes in the latency gene transcript and intron, suggesting that nucleosome positioning can be an underlying biochemical mechanism of CTCF function. We propose that RNAPII interactions and nucleosome displacement serve as a biochemical basis for programming RNAPII in the KSHV transcriptional control region.
Project description:One striking characteristic of certain herpesviruses is their ability to induce rapid and widespread RNA decay in order to gain access to host resources. This phenotype is induced by viral endoribonucleases, including SOX in Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), muSOX in murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68), BGLF5 in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and vhs in herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). Here, we performed comparative transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) upon expression of these herpesviral endonucleases in order to characterize their effect on the host transcriptome. Consistent with previous reports, we found that approximately two-thirds of transcripts were downregulated in cells expressing any of these viral endonucleases. Among the transcripts spared from degradation, we uncovered a cluster of transcripts that systematically escaped degradation from all tested endonucleases. Among these escapees, we identified C19ORF66 and reveal that this transcript is protected from degradation by its 3' untranslated region (UTR). We then show that C19ORF66 is a potent KSHV restriction factor by impeding early viral gene expression, suggesting that its ability to escape viral cleavage may be an important component of the host response to viral infection. Collectively, our comparative approach is a powerful tool to pinpoint key regulators of the viral-host interplay and led us to uncover a novel KSHV regulator.IMPORTANCE Viruses are master regulators of the host gene expression machinery. This is crucial to promote viral infection and to dampen host immune responses. Many viruses, including herpesviruses, express RNases that reduce host gene expression through widespread mRNA decay. However, it emerged that some mRNAs escape this fate, although it has been difficult to determine whether these escaping transcripts benefit viral infection or instead participate in an antiviral mechanism. To tackle this question, we compared the effect of the herpesviral RNases on the human transcriptome and identified a cluster of transcripts consistently escaping degradation from all tested endonucleases. Among the protected mRNAs, we identified the transcript C19ORF66 and showed that it restricts Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection. Collectively, these results provide a framework to explore how the control of RNA fate in the context of viral-induced widespread mRNA degradation may influence the outcome of viral infection.
Project description:Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a human herpesvirus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma and is associated with the development of lymphoproliferative diseases. KSHV reactivation from latency and virion production is dependent on efficient transcription of over eighty lytic cycle genes and viral DNA replication. CTCF and cohesin, cellular proteins that cooperatively regulate gene expression and mediate long-range DNA interactions, have been shown to bind at specific sites in herpesvirus genomes. CTCF and cohesin regulate KSHV gene expression during latency and may also control lytic reactivation, although their role in lytic gene expression remains incompletely characterized. Here, we analyze the dynamic changes in CTCF and cohesin binding that occur during the process of KSHV viral reactivation and virion production by high resolution chromatin immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing (ChIP-Seq) and show that both proteins dissociate from viral genomes in kinetically and spatially distinct patterns. By utilizing siRNAs to specifically deplete CTCF and Rad21, a cohesin component, we demonstrate that both proteins are potent restriction factors for KSHV replication, with cohesin knockdown leading to hundred-fold increases in viral yield. High-throughput RNA sequencing was used to characterize the transcriptional effects of CTCF and cohesin depletion, and demonstrated that both proteins have complex and global effects on KSHV lytic transcription. Specifically, both proteins act as positive factors for viral transcription initially but subsequently inhibit KSHV lytic transcription, such that their net effect is to limit KSHV RNA accumulation. Cohesin is a more potent inhibitor of KSHV transcription than CTCF but both proteins are also required for efficient transcription of a subset of KSHV genes. These data reveal novel effects of CTCF and cohesin on transcription from a relatively small genome that resemble their effects on the cellular genome by acting as gene-specific activators of some promoters, but differ in acting as global negative regulators of transcription.
Project description:Methylation at the N6 position of adenosine (m6A) is a highly prevalent and reversible modification within eukaryotic mRNAs that has been linked to many stages of RNA processing and fate. Recent studies suggest that m6A deposition and proteins involved in the m6A pathway play a diverse set of roles in either restricting or modulating the lifecycles of select viruses. Here, we report that m6A levels are significantly increased in cells infected with the oncogenic human DNA virus Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Transcriptome-wide m6A-sequencing of the KSHV-positive renal carcinoma cell line iSLK.219 during lytic reactivation revealed the presence of m6A across multiple kinetic classes of viral transcripts, and a concomitant decrease in m6A levels across much of the host transcriptome. However, we found that depletion of the m6A machinery had differential pro- and anti-viral impacts on viral gene expression depending on the cell-type analyzed. In iSLK.219 and iSLK.BAC16 cells the pathway functioned in a pro-viral manner, as depletion of the m6A writer METTL3 and the reader YTHDF2 significantly impaired virion production. In iSLK.219 cells the defect was linked to their roles in the post-transcriptional accumulation of the major viral lytic transactivator ORF50, which is m6A modified. In contrast, although the ORF50 mRNA was also m6A modified in KSHV infected B cells, ORF50 protein expression was instead increased upon depletion of METTL3, or, to a lesser extent, YTHDF2. These results highlight that the m6A pathway is centrally involved in regulating KSHV gene expression, and underscore how the outcome of this dynamically regulated modification can vary significantly between cell types.
Project description:In the early 'RNA world' stage of life, RNA stored genetic information and catalyzed chemical reactions. However, the RNA world eventually gave rise to the DNA-RNA-protein world, and this transition included the 'genetic takeover' of information storage by DNA. We investigated evolutionary advantages for using DNA as the genetic material. The error rate of replication imposes a fundamental limit on the amount of information that can be stored in the genome, as mutations degrade information. We compared misincorporation rates of RNA and DNA in experimental non-enzymatic polymerization and calculated the lowest possible error rates from a thermodynamic model. Both analyses found that RNA replication was intrinsically error-prone compared to DNA, suggesting that total genomic information could increase after the transition to DNA. Analysis of the transitional RNA/DNA hybrid duplexes showed that copying RNA into DNA had similar fidelity to RNA replication, so information could be maintained during the genetic takeover. However, copying DNA into RNA was very error-prone, suggesting that attempts to return to the RNA world would result in a considerable loss of information. Therefore, the genetic takeover may have been driven by a combination of increased chemical stability, increased genome size and irreversibility.