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J Virol. 2009 Sep;83(17):8492-501. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00922-09. Epub 2009 Jun 24.

Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8 K-bZIP modulates latency-associated nuclear protein-mediated suppression of lytic origin-dependent DNA synthesis.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program, University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, Nevada 89557, USA.


The original cotransfection replication assay identified eight human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8)-encoded proteins required for origin-dependent lytic DNA replication. Previously, we demonstrated that under conditions where K-Rta is overexpressed, a K-bZIP knockout bacmid displayed an aberrant subcellular localization pattern for the latency-associated nuclear protein (LANA). Additionally, these same studies demonstrated that K-bZIP interacts with LANA in the absence of K-Rta and that K-bZIP does not directly participate in, but may facilitate, the initiation of lytic DNA synthesis. We developed a modification of the transient cotransfection replication assay wherein both lytic (oriLyt) and latent (terminal repeat) DNA replication are evaluated simultaneously. We now show that LANA represses origin-dependent lytic DNA replication in a dose dependent manner when added to the cotransfection replication assay. This repression was overcome by increasing amounts of a K-bZIP expression plasmid in the cotransfection mixture or by dominant-negative inhibition of the interaction of LANA with K-bZIP by the overexpression of the K-bZIP-LANA binding domain. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays show that LANA interacts with oriLyt in the absence of K-bZIP expression, suggesting that suppression of lytic replication by LANA is mediated by direct binding. The interaction of K-bZIP with oriLyt was dependent upon the expression of LANA; however, LANA interacted with oriLyt independently of K-bZIP expression. These data suggest that the interaction of LANA with K-bZIP modulates lytic and latent replication and that K-bZIP facilitates lytic DNA replication and modulates the switch from the latent phase of the virus.

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