Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus upregulates Aurora A expression to promote p53 phosphorylation and ubiquitylation
Upadhyay, Santosh. K.
Subhash. C. Verma
Robertson, Erle S.
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Aberrant expression of Aurora A kinase has been frequently implicated in many cancers and contributes to chromosome instability and phosphorylation-mediated ubiquitylation and degradation of p53 for tumorigenesis. Previous studies showed that p53 is degraded by Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) encoded latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) through its SOCS-box (suppressor of cytokine signaling, LANASOCS) motif-mediated recruitment of the EC5S ubiquitin complex. Here we demonstrate that Aurora A transcriptional expression is upregulated by LANA and markedly elevated in both Kaposi's sarcoma tissue and human primary cells infected with KSHV. Moreover, reintroduction of Aurora A dramatically enhances the binding affinity of p53 with LANA and LANASOCS-mediated ubiquitylation of p53 which requires phosphorylation on Ser215 and Ser315. Small hairpin RNA or a dominant negative mutant of Aurora A kinase efficiently disrupts LANA-induced p53 ubiquitylation and degradation, and leads to induction of p53 transcriptional and apoptotic activities. These studies provide new insights into the mechanisms by which LANA can upregulate expression of a cellular oncogene and simultaneously destabilize the activities of the p53 tumor suppressor in KSHV-associated human cancers.