Nuclear Localization and Cleavage of STAT6 Is Induced by Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus for Viral Latency

Chong Wang, Caixia Zhu, Fang Wei, Shujun Gao, Liming Zhang, Yuhong Li, Yanling Feng, Yin Tong, Jianqing Xu, Bin Wang, Zhenghong Yuan, Erle S. Robertson, Qiliang Cai

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16 Scopus citations


Emerging evidence implies that STAT6 plays an important role in both the adaptive and innate immune responses to virus infection. Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is an oncogenic γ-herpesvirus agent associated with several human malignancies, including Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) and primary effusion lymphomas (PELs). Previously, we demonstrated that KSHV blocks IL-4-induced STAT6 phosphorylation and retains a basal IL-13/STAT6 constitutive activation for cell survival and proliferation. However, the mechanism by which KSHV regulates STAT6 remains largely unknown. Here, we found that KSHV-encoded LANA interacts with STAT6 and promotes nuclear localization of STAT6 independent of the tyrosine 641-phosphorylation state. Moreover, nuclear localization of STAT6 is also dramatically increased in KS tissue. The latent antigen LANA induces serine protease-mediated cleavage of STAT6 in the nucleus, where the cleaved STAT6 lacking transactivation domain functions as a dominant-negative regulator to repress transcription of Replication and Transcription Activator (RTA) and in turn shut off viral lytic replication. Blockade of STAT6 by small interference RNA dramatically enhances expression of RTA, and in turn reduces KSHV-infected endothelial cell growth and colony formation. Taken together, these results suggest that nuclear localization and cleavage of STAT6 is important for modulating the viral latency and pathogenesis of KSHV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1006124
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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© 2017 Wang et al.


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