STUB1 is targeted by the SUMO-interacting motif of EBNA1 to maintain Epstein-Barr Virus latency

Yuyan Wang, Shujuan Du, Caixia Zhu, Chong Wang, Nuoya Yu, Ziqi Lin, Jin Gan, Yi Guo, Xinxin Huang, Yuping He, Erle Robertson, Di Qu, Fang Wei, Qiliang Cai

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14 Scopus citations


Latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is strongly associated with several malignancies, including B-cell lymphomas and epithelial tumors. EBNA1 is a key antigen expressed in all EBV-associated tumors during latency that is required for maintenance of the EBV episome DNA and the regulation of viral gene transcription. However, the mechanism utilized by EBV to maintain latent infection at the levels of posttranslational regulation remains largely unclear. Here, we report that EBNA1 contains two SUMO-interacting motifs (SIM2 and SIM3), and mutation of SIM2, but not SIM3, dramatically disrupts the EBNA1 dimerization, while SIM3 contributes to the polySUMO2 modification of EBNA1 at lysine 477 in vitro. Proteomic and immunoprecipitation analyses further reveal that the SIM3 motif is required for the EBNA1-mediated inhibitory effects on SUMO2-modified STUB1, SUMO2-mediated degradation of USP7, and SUMO1-modified KAP1. Deletion of the EBNASIM motif leads to functional loss of both EBNA1-mediated viral episome maintenance and lytic gene silencing. Importantly, hypoxic stress induces the SUMO2 modification of EBNA1, and in turn the dissociation of EBNA1 with STUB1, KAP1 and USP7 to increase the SUMO1 modification of both STUB1 and KAP1 for reactivation of lytic replication. Therefore, the EBNA1SIM motif plays an essential role in EBV latency and is a potential therapeutic target against EBV-associated cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1008447
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2020 Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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