Comprehensive Analysis of LANA Interacting Proteins Essential for Viral Genome Tethering and Persistence
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Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus is tightly linked to multiple human malignancies including Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), Primary Effusion Lymphoma (PEL) and Multicentric Castleman’s Disease (MCD). KSHV like other herpesviruses establishes life-long latency in the infected host by persisting as chromatin and tethering to host chromatin through the virally encoded protein Latency Associated Nuclear Antigen (LANA). LANA, a multifunctional protein, is capable of binding to a large number of cellular proteins responsible for transcriptional regulation of various cellular and viral pathways involved in blocking cell death and promoting cell proliferation. This leads to enhanced cell division and replication of the viral genome, which segregates faithfully in the dividing tumor cells. The mechanism of genome segregation is well known and the binding of LANA to nucleosomal proteins, throughout the cell cycle, suggests that these interactions play an important role in efficient segregation. Various biochemical methods have identified a large number of LANA binding proteins, including histone H2A/H2B, histone H1, MeCP2, DEK, CENP-F, NuMA, Bub1, HP-1, and Brd4. These nucleosomal proteins may have various functions in tethering of the viral genome during specific phases of the viral life cycle. Therefore, we performed a comprehensive analysis of their interaction with LANA using a number of different assays. We show that LANA binds to core nucleosomal histones and also associates with other host chromatin proteins including histone H1 and high mobility group proteins (HMGs). We used various biochemical assays including co-immunoprecipitation and in-vivo localization by split GFP and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to demonstrate their association.