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J Cell Sci. 2003 Sep 15;116(Pt 18):3721-8. Epub 2003 Jul 30.

KSHV vFLIP binds to IKK-gamma to activate IKK.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Molecular Pathology, University College London, Windeyer Institute, 46 Cleveland St, London W1T 2AH, UK.


When expressed in heterologous cells, the viral FLIP protein (vFLIP) of Kaposi's-sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) has been reported both to block Fas-mediated apoptosis and to activate the NF-kappaB activation pathway by interaction with IkappaB kinase (IKK). In a yeast-two-hybrid screen, we identified IKKgamma as an interacting partner of vFLIP. We expressed fragments of IKKgamma in mammalian cells and bacteria, and identified the central CCR3/4 (amino acids 150-272) as the vFLIP binding region. To investigate the proteins interacting with vFLIP in a KSHV-infected primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cell line, we immunoprecipitated vFLIP and identified four associated proteins by mass spectrometry: IKK components IKKalpha, beta and gamma, and the chaperone, Hsp90. Using gel filtration chromatography, we demonstrated that a single population of vFLIP in the cytoplasm of PEL cells co-eluted and co-precipitated with an activated IKK complex. An inhibitor of Hsp90, geldanamycin, inhibited IKK's kinase activity induced by vFLIP and killed PEL cells, suggesting that vFLIP activation of IKK contributes to PEL cell survival.

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