The Ubiquitin Sensor and Adaptor Protein p62 Mediates Signal Transduction of a Viral Oncogenic Pathway
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) protein LMP1 serves as a paradigm that engages complicated ubiquitination-mediated mechanisms to activate multiple transcription factors. p62 is a ubiquitin sensor and a signal-transducing adaptor that has multiple functions in diverse contexts. However, the interaction between p62 and oncogenic viruses is poorly understood. We recently reported a crucial role for p62 in oncovirus-mediated oxidative stress by acting as a selective autophagy receptor. In this following pursuit, we further discovered that p62 is upregulated in EBV type 3 compared to type 1 latency, with a significant contribution from NF-kB and AP1 activities downstream of LMP1 signaling. In turn, p62 participates in LMP1 signal transduction through its interaction with TRAF6, promoting TRAF6 ubiquitination and activation. As expected, short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated knockdown (KD) of p62 transcripts reduces LMP1-TRAF6 interaction and TRAF6 ubiquitination, as well as p65 nuclear translocation, which was assessed by Amnis imaging flow cytometry. Strikingly, LMP1-stimulated NF-kB, AP1, and Akt activities are all markedly reduced in p622/2 mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) and in EBV-negative Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL) cell lines with CRISPR-mediated knockout (KO) of the p62-encoding gene. However, EBV-positive BL cell lines (type 3 latency) with CRISPR-mediated KO of the p62-encoding gene failed to survive. In consequence, shRNA-mediated p62 KD impairs the ability of LMP1 to regulate its target gene expression, promotes etoposide-induced apoptosis, and reduces the proliferation of lymphoblastic cell lines (LCLs). These important findings have revealed a previously unrecognized novel role for p62 in EBV latency and oncogenesis, which advances our understanding of the mechanism underlying virus-mediated oncogenesis. IMPORTANCE As a ubiquitin sensor and a signal-transducing adaptor, p62 is crucial for NF-kB activation, which involves the ubiquitin machinery, in diverse contexts. However, whether p62 is required for EBV LMP1 activation of NF-kB is an open question. In this study, we provide evidence that p62 is upregulated in EBV type 3 latency and, in turn, p62 mediates LMP1 signal transduction to NF-kB, AP1, and Akt by promoting TRAF6 ubiquitination and activation. In consequence, p62 deficiency negatively regulates LMP1-mediated gene expression, promotes etoposide-induced apoptosis, and reduces the proliferation of LCLs. These important findings identified p62 as a novel signaling component of the key viral oncogenic signaling pathway.
Wang, Ling; Howell, Mary E.; Sparks-Wallace, Ayrianna; Zhao, Juan; Hensley, Culton R.; Nicksic, Camri A.; Horne, Shanna R.; Mohr, Kaylea B.; Moorman, Jonathan P.; Yao, Zhi Q.; and Ning, Shunbin, "The Ubiquitin Sensor and Adaptor Protein p62 Mediates Signal Transduction of a Viral Oncogenic Pathway" (2021). ETSU Faculty Works. 558.