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J Virol. 2013 Feb;87(3):1733-49. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02958-12. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

Reactive oxygen species are induced by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus early during primary infection of endothelial cells to promote virus entry.

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  • 1HM Bligh Cancer Research Laboratories, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, Illinois, USA. virginie.bottero@rosalindfranklin.edu


The entry of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) into human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC-d), natural in vivo target cells, via macropinocytosis is initiated through a multistep process involving the binding of KSHV envelope glycoproteins with cell surface α3β1, αVβ3, and αVβ5 integrin molecules and tyrosine kinase ephrin-A2 receptor, followed by the activation of preexisting integrin-associated signaling molecules such as focal adhesion kinase (FAK), Src, c-Cbl, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI-3K), and Rho-GTPases. Many viruses, including KSHV, utilize cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) for viral genomic replication and survival within host cells; however, the role of ROS in early events of viral entry and the induction of signaling has not been elucidated. Here we show that KSHV induced ROS production very early during the infection of HMVEC-d cells and that ROS production was sustained over the observation period (24 h postinfection). ROS induction was dependent on the binding of KSHV to the target cells, since pretreatment of the virus with heparin abolished ROS induction. Pretreatment of HMVEC-d cells with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) significantly inhibited KSHV entry, and consequently gene expression, without affecting virus binding. In contrast, H(2)O(2) treatment increased the levels of KSHV entry and infection. In addition, NAC inhibited KSHV infection-induced translocation of αVβ3 integrin into lipid rafts, actin-dependent membrane perturbations, such as blebs, observed during macropinocytosis, and activation of the signal molecules ephrin-A2 receptor, FAK, Src, and Rac1. In contrast, H(2)O(2) treatment increased the activation of ephrin-A2, FAK, Src, and Rac1. These studies demonstrate that KSHV infection induces ROS very early during infection to amplify the signaling pathways necessary for its efficient entry into HMVEC-d cells via macropinocytosis.

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