Journal of virology

Itchy, a Nedd4 ubiquitin ligase, downregulates latent membrane protein 2A activity in B-cell signaling.

PMID 12692257


Nedd4 family ubiquitin protein ligases (E3s) specifically associate with latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) of Epstein-Barr virus. Our previous studies analyzing LMP2A function in vitro have suggested that Nedd4 family E3s regulate LMP2A function. To determine the role of Nedd4 family E3s in LMP2A B-cell signaling, LMP2A transgenic (LMP2A(+)) mice were crossed with mice with the Itch-deficient (Itch(-/-)) background. Itchy, a mouse homologue of human AIP4, is a Nedd4 family E3 and is also the most abundant Nedd4 family E3 found in LMP2A affinity precipitates from B cells. There were significantly fewer B-cell receptor-positive B cells in spleen and bone marrow B cells in LMP2A(+) Itch(-/-) mice than in LMP2A(+) mice. In addition, LMP2A(+) Itch(-/-) bone marrow B cells formed larger colonies in cultures treated with interleukin-7 (IL-7) than control bone marrow B cells did. Finally, there was a dramatic increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of LMP2A and Syk in IL-7-cultured LMP2A(+) Itch(-/-) B cells. These results indicate that Nedd4 family E3s, in particular Itchy, downmodulate LMP2A activity in B-cell signaling.