Full-length isoforms of KSHV LANA accumulate in the cytoplasm of cells undergoing the lytic cycle of replication.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of virology, Volume 91, Issue 24, p.e01532-17 (2017)


Proteomics Core Facility


The latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) of the Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) performs a variety of functions to establish and maintain KSHV latency. During latency, LANA localizes to discrete punctate spots in the nucleus where it tethers viral episomes to cellular chromatin and interacts with nuclear components to regulate cellular and viral gene expression. Using highly sensitive tyramide signal amplification (TSA), we determined that LANA localizes to the cytoplasm in different cell types undergoing the lytic cycle of replication after de novo primary infection and after spontaneous, TPA-, or ORF50/RTA-induced activation. We confirmed the presence of cytoplasmic LANA in a subset of cells in lytically-active multicentric Castleman disease lesions. The induction of cellular migration by scratch-wounding confluent cell cultures, culturing under subconfluent conditions or induction of cell differentiation in primary cultures upregulated the number of cells permissive for primary lytic KSHV infection. The induction of lytic replication was characterized by high level expression of cytoplasmic LANA and nuclear ORF59, a marker of lytic replication. Subcellular fractionation studies revealed the presence of multiple isoforms of LANA in the cytoplasm of ORF50/RTA-activated Vero cells undergoing primary infection. Mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that cytoplasmic LANA isoforms were full-length, containing the N-terminal nuclear localization signal. These results suggest that trafficking of LANA to different subcellular locations is a regulated phenomenon, which allows LANA to interact with cellular components in different compartments during both the latent and replicative stages of the KSHV lifecycle.IMPORTANCE Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) causes AIDS-related malignancies, including lymphomas and Kaposi sarcoma. KSHV establishes life-long infections using its latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA). During latency, LANA localizes to the nucleus where it connects viral and cellular DNA complexes and regulates gene expression allowing the virus to maintain long-term infections. Our research shows that intact LANA traffics to the cytoplasm of cells undergoing permissive lytic infections and latently-infected cells in which the virus is induced to replicate. This suggests that LANA plays important roles in the cytoplasm and nuclear compartments of the cell during different stages of the KSHV life cycle. Determining cytoplasmic function and mechanism for regulation of the nuclear localization of LANA will enhance our understanding of the biology of this virus, leading to therapeutic approaches to eliminate infection and block its pathological effects.