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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 22;8(7):e69827. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069827. Print 2013.

Epstein-Barr virus encoded dUTPase containing exosomes modulate innate and adaptive immune responses in human dendritic cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA.


We have recently demonstrated that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded deoxyuridine triphosphate nucleotidohydrolase (dUTPase) modulates innate immunity in human primary monocyte-derived macrophages through toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 leading to NF-κB activation and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Our previous depletion studies indicated that dendritic cells (DCs) may also be a target of the EBV-encoded dUTPase. However, the role of EBV-encoded dUTPase in DC activation/function and its potential contribution to the inflammatory cellular milieu characteristic of EBV-associated diseases remains poorly understood. In the present study, we demonstrate that EBV-encoded dUTPase significantly altered the expression of genes involved in oncogenesis, inflammation and viral defense mechanisms in human primary DCs by microarray analysis. Proteome array studies revealed that EBV-encoded dUTPase modulates DC immune responses by inducing the secretion of pro-inflammatory TH1/TH17 cytokines. More importantly, we demonstrate that EBV-encoded dUTPase is secreted in exosomes from chemically induced Raji cells at sufficient levels to induce NF-κB activation and cytokine secretion in primary DCs and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Interestingly, the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in DCs and PBMCs was TLR2-dependent. Together these findings suggest that the EBV-encoded dUTPase may act as an intercellular signaling molecule capable of modulating the cellular microenvironment and thus, it may be important in the pathophysiology of EBV related diseases.

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