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Biochemistry. 2007 Sep 4;46(35):9874-85. Epub 2007 Aug 15.

The K15 protein of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus recruits the endocytic regulator intersectin 2 through a selective SH3 domain interaction.

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Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X5, Canada.


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, also known as human herpesvirus 8, is closely associated with several cancers including Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease. The rightmost end of the KSHV genome encodes a protein, K15, with multiple membrane-spanning segments and an intracellular carboxy-terminal tail that contains several conserved motifs with the potential to recruit interaction domains (i.e., SH2, SH3, TRAF) of host cell proteins. K15 has been implicated in downregulating B cell receptor (BCR) signaling through its conserved motifs and may thereby play a role in maintaining viral latency and/or preventing apoptosis of the infected B cells. However, K15's mode of action is largely unknown. We have used mass spectrometry, domain and peptide arrays, and surface plasmon resonance to identify binding partners for a conserved proline-rich sequence (PPLP) in the K15 cytoplasmic tail. We show that the PPLP motif selectively binds the SH3-C domain of an endocytic adaptor protein, Intersectin 2 (ITSN2). This interaction can be observed both in vitro and in cells, where K15 and ITSN2 colocalize to discrete compartments within the B cell. The ability of K15 to associate with ITSN2 suggests a new role for the K15 viral protein in intracellular protein trafficking.

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