PLoS pathogens

ESCRT-I Protein Tsg101 Plays a Role in the Post-macropinocytic Trafficking and Infection of Endothelial Cells by Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus.

PMID 27764233


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) binding to the endothelial cell surface heparan sulfate is followed by sequential interactions with α3β1, αVβ3 and αVβ5 integrins and Ephrin A2 receptor tyrosine kinase (EphA2R). These interactions activate host cell pre-existing FAK, Src, PI3-K and RhoGTPase signaling cascades, c-Cbl mediated ubiquitination of receptors, recruitment of CIB1, p130Cas and Crk adaptor molecules, and membrane bleb formation leading to lipid raft dependent macropinocytosis of KSHV into human microvascular dermal endothelial (HMVEC-d) cells. The Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport (ESCRT) proteins, ESCRT-0, -I, -II, and-III, play a central role in clathrin-mediated internalized ubiquitinated receptor endosomal trafficking and sorting. ESCRT proteins have also been shown to play roles in viral egress. We have recently shown that ESCRT-0 component Hrs protein associates with the plasma membrane during macropinocytosis and mediates KSHV entry via ROCK1 mediated phosphorylation of NHE1 and local membrane pH change. Here, we demonstrate that the ESCRT-I complex Tsg101 protein also participates in the macropinocytosis of KSHV and plays a role in KSHV trafficking. Knockdown of Tsg101 did not affect virus entry in HMVEC-d and human umbilical vein endothelial (HUVEC) cells but significantly inhibited the KSHV genome entry into the nucleus and consequently viral gene expression in these cells. Double and triple immunofluorescence, proximity ligation immunofluorescence and co-immuoprecipitation studies revealed the association of Tsg101 with the KSHV containing macropinosomes, and increased levels of Tsg101 association/interactions with EphA2R, c-Cbl, p130Cas and Crk signal molecules, as well as with upstream and downstream ESCRT components such as Hrs (ESCRT-0), EAP45 (ESCRT-II), CHMP6 (ESCRT-III) and CHMP5 (ESCRT-III) in the KSHV infected cells. Tsg101 was also associated with early (Rab5) and late endosomal (Rab7) stages of KSHV intracellular trafficking, and CHMP5 (ESCRT-III) was also associated with Rab 5 and Rab 7. Knockdown of Tsg101 significantly inhibited the transition of virus from early to late endosomes. Collectively, our studies reveal that Tsg101 plays a role in the trafficking of macropinocytosed KSHV in the endothelial cells which is essential for the successful viral genome delivery into the nucleus, viral gene expression and infection. Thus, ESCRT molecules could serve as therapeutic targets to combat KSHV infection.