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The RBP-J? binding sites within the RTA Promoter Regulates KSHV Latent Infection and Proliferation
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Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is tightly linked to at least two lymphoproliferative disorders, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD). However, the development of KSHV-mediated lymphoproliferative disease is not fully understood. Here, we generated two recombinant KSHV viruses deleted for the first RBP-J? binding site (RTA1st) and all three RBP-J? binding sites (RTAall) within the RTA promoter. Our results showed that RTA1st and RTAall recombinant viruses possess increased viral latency and a decreased capability for lytic replication in HEK 293 cells, enhancing colony formation and proliferation of infected cells. Furthermore, recombinant RTA1st and RTAall viruses showed greater infectivity in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) relative to wt KSHV. Interestingly, KSHV BAC36 wt, RTA1st and RTAall recombinant viruses infected both T and B cells and all three viruses efficiently infected T and B cells in a time-dependent manner early after infection. Also, the capability of both RTA1st and RTAall recombinant viruses to infect CD19+ B cells was significantly enhanced. Surprisingly, RTA1st and RTAall recombinant viruses showed greater infectivity for CD3+ T cells up to 7 days. Furthermore, studies in Telomerase-immortalized human umbilical vein endothelial (TIVE) cells infected with KSHV corroborated our data that RTA1st and RTAall recombinant viruses have enhanced ability to persist in latently infected cells with increased proliferation. These recombinant viruses now provide a model to explore early stages of primary infection in human PBMCs and development of KSHV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases.