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J Virol. 2012 Oct;86(19):10308-20. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00853-12. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein-2A induces ITAM/Syk- and Akt-dependent epithelial migration through αv-integrin membrane translocation.

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Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a highly prevalent herpesvirus associated with epithelial cancers, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The EBV protein latent membrane protein 2 (LMP2) is expressed in NPC tumor tissue and has been shown to induce transformation, inhibit differentiation, and promote migration of epithelial cells. In this study, the effect of LMP2A on migration of human epithelial cells was further analyzed. LMP2A expression induced migration in human foreskin keratinocytes (HFK) and HaCaT keratinocytes measured by wound healing scratch assay and chemoattractant-induced Transwell migration assay. The induction of migration by LMP2A required the ITAM signaling domain of LMP2A and activation of the Syk tyrosine kinase. LMP2A-induced Transwell migration required the Akt signaling pathway, and activation of Akt by LMP2A required the ITAM signaling domain of LMP2A. LMP2A also induced phosphorylation of the Akt target GSK3β, a Wnt signaling mediator that has been shown to regulate the activity of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), a tyrosine kinase activated by clustering and ligand interaction of integrins. Inhibition of either FAK or its signaling mediator Src kinase inhibited LMP2A-induced migration. Interestingly, αV-integrin was greatly increased in membrane-enriched fractions by LMP2A, and a neutralizing antibody to αV-integrin blocked migration, suggesting that the effects of LMP2A on membrane-localized αV-integrin promoted migration. The results of this study indicate that LMP2A expression in human epithelial cells induces αV-integrin-dependent migration through a mechanism requiring ITAM-mediated Syk and Akt activation and inducing membrane translocation or stabilization of αV-integrin and FAK activation. The specific effects of LMP2A on an integrin with a diverse repertoire of ligand specificities could promote migration of different cell types and be initiated by multiple chemoattractants.

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