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Latency-associated nuclear antigen of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus recruits uracil DNA glycosylase 2 at the terminal repeats and is important for latent persistence of the virus
AuthorVerma, Subhash C.
Bajaj, Bharat G.
Robertson, Erle S.
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Latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) of KSHV is expressed in all forms of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-mediated tumors and is important for TR-mediated replication and persistence of the virus. LANA does not exhibit any enzymatic activity by itself but is critical for replication and maintenance of the viral genome. To identify LANA binding proteins, we used a LANA binding sequence 1 DNA affinity column and determined the identities of a number of proteins associated with LANA. One of the identified proteins was uracil DNA glycosylase 2 (UNG2). UNG2 is important for removing uracil residues yielded after either misincorporation of dUTP during replication or deamination of cytosine. The specificity of the ′LANA-UNG2 interaction was confirmed by using a scrambled DNA sequence affinity column. Interaction of LANA and UNG2 was further confirmed by in vitro binding and coimmunoprecipitation assays. Colocalization of these proteins was also detected in primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cells, as well as in a cotransfected KSHV-negative cell line. UNG2 binds to the carboxyl terminus of LANA and retains its enzymatic activity in the complex. However, no major effect on TR-mediated DNA replication was observed when a UNG2-deficient (UNG−/−) cell line was used. Infection of UNG−/− and wild-type mouse embryonic fibroblasts with KSHV did not reveal any difference; however, UNG−/− cells produced a significantly reduced number of virion particles after induction. Interestingly, depletion of UNG2 in PEL cells with short hairpin RNA reduced the number of viral genome copies and produced infection-deficient virus.