KSHV encoded LANA recruits Nucleosome Assembly Protein NAP1L1 for regulating viral DNA replication and transcription
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The establishment of latency is an essential for lifelong persistence and pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) is the most abundantly expressed protein during latency and is important for viral genome replication and transcription. Replication-coupled nucleosome assembly is a major step in packaging the newly synthesized DNA into chromatin, but the mechanism of KSHV genome chromatinization post-replication is not understood. Here, we show that nucleosome assembly protein 1-like protein 1 (NAP1L1) associates with LANA. Our binding assays revealed an association of LANA with NAP1L1 in KSHV-infected cells, which binds through its amino terminal domain. Association of these proteins confirmed their localization in specific nuclear compartments of the infected cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays from NAP1L1-depleted cells showed LANA-mediated recruitment of NAP1L1 at the terminal repeat (TR) region of the viral genome. Presence of NAP1L1 stimulated LANA-mediated DNA replication and persistence of a TR-containing plasmid. Depletion of NAP1L1 led to a reduced nucleosome positioning on the viral genome. Furthermore, depletion of NAP1L1 increased the transcription of viral lytic genes and overexpression decreased the promoter activities of LANA-regulated genes. These results confirmed that LANA recruitment of NAP1L1 helps in assembling nucleosome for the chromatinization of newly synthesized viral DNA.