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Yoo, Jaehyuk; Kang, Jinjoo; Lee, Ha Neul; Aguilar, Berenice; Kafka, Darren; Lee, Sunju; Choi, Inho; Lee, Juneyong; Ramu, Swapnika; Haas, Jürgen G.; Koh, Chester J.; Hong, Young-Kwon (2010): Kaposin-B enhances the PROX1 mRNA stability during lymphatic reprogramming of vascular endothelial cells by Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus.
In: PLoS pathogens 6(8), e1001046




Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is the most common cancer among HIV-positive patients. Histogenetic origin of KS has long been elusive due to a mixed expression of both blood and lymphatic endothelial markers in KS tumor cells. However, we and others discovered that Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus (KSHV) induces lymphatic reprogramming of blood vascular endothelial cells by upregulating PROX1, which functions as the master regulator for lymphatic endothelial differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that the KSHV latent gene kaposin-B enhances the PROX1 mRNA stability and plays an important role in KSHV-mediated PROX1 upregulation. We found that PROX1 mRNA contains a canonical AU-rich element (ARE) in its 3'-untranslated region that promotes PROX1 mRNA turnover and that kaposin-B stimulates cytoplasmic accumulation of the ARE-binding protein HuR through activation of the p38/MK2 pathway. Moreover, HuR binds to and stabilizes PROX1 mRNA through its ARE and is necessary for KSHV-mediated PROX1 mRNA stabilization. Together, our study demonstrates that kaposin-B plays a key role in PROX1 upregulation during lymphatic reprogramming of blood vascular endothelial cells by KSHV.