PloS one

Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from periodontal pathogenic bacteria facilitate oncogenic herpesvirus infection within primary oral cells.

PMID 24971655


Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) remains the most common tumor arising in patients with HIV/AIDS, and involvement of the oral cavity represents one of the most common clinical manifestations of this tumor. HIV infection incurs an increased risk for periodontal diseases and oral carriage of a variety of bacteria. Whether interactions involving pathogenic bacteria and oncogenic viruses in the local environment facilitate replication or maintenance of these viruses in the oral cavity remains unknown. In the current study, our data indicate that pretreatment of primary human oral fibroblasts with two prototypical pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) produced by oral pathogenic bacteria-lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), increase KSHV entry and subsequent viral latent gene expression during de novo infection. Further experiments demonstrate that the underlying mechanisms induced by LTA and/or LPS include upregulation of cellular receptor, increasing production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and activating intracellular signaling pathways such as MAPK and NF-κB, and all of which are closely associated with KSHV entry or gene expression within oral cells. Based on these findings, we hope to provide the framework of developing novel targeted approaches for treatment and prevention of oral KSHV infection and KS development in high-risk HIV-positive patients.