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Oncotarget. 2017 Oct 9;8(59):99841-99860. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.21668. eCollection 2017 Nov 21.

Extracellular vesicles from KSHV-infected endothelial cells activate the complement system.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea.
BK21 Plus Program, Department of Senior Healthcare, Graduate School, Eulji University, Daejeon, South Korea.
Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, College of Health Sciences, Eulji University, Gyeonggi-Do, Seongnam, South Korea.
Department of Urology, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea.
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs), released by cells, are associated with cell-to-cell communication and regulate various cellular processes. EVs draw parallels with viruses for their similar structures and functions. Increasing evidences from recent studies indicate that cells infected with viruses release a variety of EVs. Delineating the functions and mechanisms of EVs released during virus infection is essential for understanding the molecular basis of viral infection and replication as well as associated pathogenesis. The most challenging obstacle for these studies is the separation of EVs from viruses. In this study, we successfully isolated the EVs from de novo Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infected-human endothelial cells during the period between virus entry and production. Intriguingly, a proteomics analysis of these EVs has revealed alterations of the complement system. Additionally, we have discovered that the EVs from KSHV-infected endothelial cells are potent activators of an alternative pathway of the complement system via exploitation of the endogenous C3 complement protein and properdin. Furthermore, we have found that complement activation promotes KSHV persistent latent infection by activating the NF-κB pathway, which enhances the survival of KSHV-infected cells and inhibits viral lytic replication. Our work identifies a novel role of EVs induced by KSHV during de novo infection and the underlying mechanism of complement activation by EVs.


KSHV; alternative complement pathway; complement system; endothelial cells; extracellular vesicles

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