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Nat Med. 2000 Oct;6(10):1121-7.

The latent nuclear antigen of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus targets the retinoblastoma-E2F pathway and with the oncogene Hras transforms primary rat cells.

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The CRC Viral Oncology Group, The Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, Cruciform Building and The Wohl Virion Centre, Departments of Oncology and Molecular Pathology, University College London, London WC1E 6AE, UK.


Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is involved in the etiopathogenesis of Kaposi sar-coma and certain lymphoproliferative disorders. Open reading frame (ORF) 73 encodes the main immunogenic latent nuclear antigen (LNA-1) of KSHV. LNA-1 maintains the KSHV episome and tethers the viral genome to chromatin during mitosis. In addition, LNA-1 interacts with p53 and represses its transcriptional activity. Here we show that LNA-1 also interacts with the retinoblastoma protein. LNA-1 transactivated an artificial promoter carrying the cell cycle transcription factor E2F DNA-binding sequences and also upregulated the cyclin E (CCNEI) promoter, but not the B-myb (MYBL2) promoter. LNA-1 overcame the flat-cell phenotype induced by retinoblastoma protein in Saos2 cells. In cooperation with the cellular oncogene Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (Hras), LNA-1 transformed primary rat embryo fibroblasts and rendered them tumorigenic. These findings indicate that LNA-1 acts as a transcription co-factor and may contribute to KSHV-induced oncogenesis by targeting the retinoblastoma protein-E2F transcriptional regulatory pathway.

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