Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) has been linked to the development of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD). We have characterized the role of KSHV-encoded viral FLICE inhibitory protein (vFLIP) K13 in the modulation of anti-IgM-induced growth arrest and apoptosis in B cells. We demonstrate that K13 protects WEHI 231, an immature B-cell line, against anti-IgM-induced growth arrest and apoptosis. The protective effect of K13 was associated with the activation of the NF-κB pathway and was deficient in a mutant K13 with three alanine substitutions at positions 58 to 60 (K13-58AAA) and a structural homolog, vFLIP E8, both of which lack NF-κB activity. K13 upregulated the expression of NF-κB subunit RelB and blocked the anti-IgM-induced decline in c-Myc and rise in p27Kip1 that have been associated with growth arrest and apoptosis. K13 also upregulated the expression of Mcl-1, an antiapoptotic member of the Bcl2 family. Finally, K13 protected the mature B-cell line Ramos against anti-IgM-induced apoptosis through NF-κB activation. Inhibition of anti-IgM-induced apoptosis by K13 may contribute to the development of KSHV-associated lymphoproliferative disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science