A20/TNFAIP3 inhibits NF-κB activation induced by the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus vFLIP oncoprotein

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Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) K13/vFLIP (viral Flice-inhibitory protein) induces transcription of numerous genes through NF-κB activation, including pro-inflammatory cytokines, which contribute to the pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). In this study, we report that KSHV vFLIP induces the expression of the NF-κB regulatory proteins A20, ABIN-1 and ABIN-3 (A20-binding NF-κB in hibitors) in primary human endothelial cells, and that KS spindle cells express A20 in KS tissue. In reporter assays, A20 strongly impaired vFLIP-induced NF-κB activation in 293T cells, but ABIN-1 and ABIN-3 did not. Mutational analysis established that the C-terminal domain (residues 427-790) is critical for A20 modulation of NF-κB, but the ubiquitin-editing OTU (ovarian tumor) domain is not. In functional assays, A20 inhibited vFLIP-induced expression of the chemokine IP-10, reduced vFLIP-induced cell proliferation and increased IKK1 protein levels. Thus, we demonstrate that A20 negatively regulates NF-κB activation directly induced by KSHV vFLIP. By attenuating excessive and prolonged vFLIP-induced NF-κB activation that could be harmful to KSHV-infected cells, A20 likely has an important role in the pathogenesis of KSHV-associated diseases, in which vFLIP is expressed.

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