1887

Abstract

Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) or human herpesvirus 8 is the causative agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma and the plasma-cell variant of multicentric Castleman's disease. Its alternatively spliced K15 gene encodes several membrane proteins with varying numbers of transmembrane domains. Two highly diverged alleles of the K15 gene, termed predominant (P) and minor (M), exist and share only 33 % amino acid identity with one another, but retain conserved putative src homology (SH) 2- and SH3-binding motifs. K15-M is thought to have entered the KSHV genome as the result of recombination with a related -herpesvirus. The more common K15-P allele has been shown to activate the mitogen-activated protein kinases Erk2 and JNK1 and the nuclear factor B (NF-B) pathway. To explore possible functional differences between K15-P and K15-M that might have influenced their spread in the KSHV population, here, the ability of the M form of K15 to activate these pathways was investigated. Similarly to K15-P, K15-M induces the activation of the Erk2 and JNK1 kinases, the NF-B transcription factor and the expression of a similar range of cellular inflammatory genes, as assessed by gene-expression microarray studies and reporter assays. In epithelial cells, the activation of most K15-M target genes is impaired by mutagenesis of Y in its SH2-binding motif YEEV, although this motif appears less important in endothelial cells. Therefore, K15-M and K15-P can trigger similar intracellular signalling pathways, despite their extensive sequence divergence.

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2007-06-01
2019-12-07
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