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Recruitment of the de novo DNA methyltransferase Dnmt3a by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus LANA

National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Medicine


The Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus LANA protein is expressed in all Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-infected cells, including the tumor cells of endemic and AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and Castleman disease. LANA modulates cell gene expression, but the mechanisms of LANA-mediated transcriptional reprogramming are poorly understood. LANA-repressed cell genes were identified by using retroviral-transduced telomerase-immortalized microvascular endothelial cells. Transciptional repression of targeted genes was relieved by treatment with the methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine, suggesting a role for DNA methylation in repression. We found that LANA coprecipitated with DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts) and recruited endogenous DNA methyltransferase activity from the cell extract. LANA preferentially relocalized Dnmt3a from the nuclear matrix into the chromatin fraction. Further, LANA associated with repressed cellular promoters, recruited Dnmt3a to DNA, and facilitated de novo promoter methylation of a down-regulated gene, cadherin 13 (H-cadherin). The data provide an example of promoter-specific epigenetic DNA modification through viral protein recruitment of de novo Dnmt activity.

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