Author(s): Pati S, Foulke JS Jr, Barabitskaya O, Kim J, Nair BC,
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Abstract Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), the etiologic agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), encodes a chemokine receptor homologue, the viral G protein-coupled receptor (vGPCR), that has been implicated in KS pathogenesis. Expression of vGPCR constitutively activates several signaling pathways, including NF-kappa B, and induces the expression of proinflammatory and angiogenic factors, consistent with the inflammatory hyperproliferative nature of KS lesions. Here we show that vGPCR also constitutively activates the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NF-AT), another transcription factor important in regulation of the expression of inflammatory cytokines and related factors. NF-AT activation by vGPCR depended upon signaling through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt-glycogen synthetase kinase 3 (PI3-K/Akt/GSK-3) pathway and resulted in increased expression of NF-AT-dependent cell surface molecules (CD25, CD29, Fas ligand), proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-2 [IL-2], IL-4), and proangiogenic factors (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor GMCSF and TNF alpha). vGPCR expression also increased endothelial cell-T-cell adhesion. Although infection with HHV-8 is necessary to cause KS, coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), in the absence of antiretroviral suppressive therapy, increases the risk of KS by many orders of magnitude. NF-AT and NF-kappa B activation by vGPCR was greatly increased by the HIV-1 Tat protein, although Tat alone had little effect on NF-AT. The enhancement of NF-AT by Tat appears to be mediated through collaborative stimulation of the PI3-K/Akt/GSK-3 pathway by vGPCR and Tat. Our data further support the idea that vGPCR contributes to the pathogenesis of KS by a paracrine mechanism and, in addition, provide the first evidence of collaboration between an HIV-1 protein and an HHV-8 protein.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine