Stabilization of Myc through heterotypic poly-ubiquitination by mLANA is critical for γ-herpesvirus lymphoproliferation

Lénia Rodrigues, Nikita Popov, Kenneth M. Kaye, J. Pedro Simas

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Host colonization by lymphotropic γ-herpesviruses depends critically on expansion of viral genomes in germinal center (GC) B-cells. Myc is essential for the formation and maintenance of GCs. Yet, the role of Myc in the pathogenesis of γ-herpesviruses is still largely unknown. In this study, Myc was shown to be essential for the lymphotropic γ-herpesvirus MuHV-4 biology as infected cells exhibited increased expression of Myc signature genes and the virus was unable to expand in Myc defficient GC B-cells. We describe a novel strategy of a viral protein activating Myc through increased protein stability resulting in increased progression through the cell cycle. This is acomplished by modulating a physiological post-translational regulatory pathway of Myc. The molecular mechanism involves Myc heterotypic poly-ubiquitination mediated via the viral E3 ubiquitin-ligase mLANA protein. EC5SmLANA modulates cellular control of Myc turnover by antagonizing SCFFbw7 mediated proteasomal degradation of Myc, mimicking SCFβ-TrCP. The findings here reported reveal that modulation of Myc is essential for γ-herpesvirus persistent infection, establishing a link between virus induced lymphoproliferation and disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1003554
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


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