New insights into the expression and functions of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus long noncoding PAN RNA

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25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a clinically relevant pathogen associated with several human diseases that primarily affect immunocompromised individuals. KSHV encodes a noncoding polyadenylated nuclear (PAN) RNA that is essential for viral propagation and viral gene expression. PAN RNA is the most abundant viral transcript produced during lytic replication. The accumulation of PAN RNA depends on high levels of transcription driven by the Rta protein, a KSHV transcription factor necessary and sufficient for latent-to-lytic phase transition. In addition, KSHV uses several posttranscriptional mechanisms to stabilize PAN RNA. A cis-acting element, called the ENE, prevents PAN RNA decay by forming a triple helix with its poly(A) tail. The viral ORF57 and the cellular PABPC1 proteins further contribute to PAN RNA stability during lytic phase. PAN RNA functions are only beginning to be uncovered, but PAN RNA has been proposed to control gene expression by several different mechanisms. PAN RNA associates with the KSHV genome and may regulate gene expression by recruiting chromatin-modifying factors. Moreover, PAN RNA binds the viral latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) protein and decreases its repressive activity by sequestering it from the viral genome. Surprisingly, PAN RNA was found to associate with translating ribosomes, so this noncoding RNA may be additionally used to produce viral peptides. In this review, I highlight the mechanisms of PAN RNA accumulation and describe recent insights into potential functions of PAN RNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalVirus Research
Volume212
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

Keywords

  • KSHV
  • LncRNA
  • PAN RNA
  • RNA function
  • RNA stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research

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