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J Virol. 2002 Sep;76(17):8797-807.

Viral interferon regulatory factor 1 of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus interacts with a cell death regulator, GRIM19, and inhibits interferon/retinoic acid-induced cell death.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 305-701, Korea.


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) plays a significant role in the development of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and some forms of multicentric Castleman's disease. The KSHV open reading frame K9 encodes the viral interferon (IFN) factor 1 (vIRF1), which downregulates IFN- and IRF-mediated transcriptional activation, and leads to cellular transformation in rodent fibroblasts and induction of tumors in nude mice. Using the yeast two-hybrid assay, we identified genes associated with retinoid-IFN-induced mortality-19 (GRIM19), which interacts directly with vIRF1, both in vivo and in vitro. The N-terminal region of vIRF1 is required for binding GRIM19. Colocalization of vIRF1 and GRIM19 was observed in 293T cells. The vIRF1 protein deregulates GRIM19-induced apoptosis in the presence of IFN/all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) and inhibits IFN/RA-induced cell death. Another DNA tumor viral protein, human papillomavirus type 16 E6, also binds GRIM19, suggesting that this is a general target of viral proteins. Our results collectively indicate that vIRF1 modulates IFN/RA-cell death signals via interactions with GRIM19.

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