Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), a highly disseminated tumor of hyperproliferative spindle endothelial cells, is the most common AIDS-associated malignancy caused by infection of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). KSHV-encoded viral interferon regulatory factor 1 (vIRF1) is a viral oncogene but its role in KSHV-induced tumor invasiveness and motility remains unknown. Here, we report that vIRF1 promotes endothelial cell migration, invasion and proliferation by down-regulating miR-218-5p to relieve its suppression of downstream targets high mobility group box 2 (HMGB2) and cytidine/uridine monophosphate kinase 1 (CMPK1). Mechanistically, vIRF1 inhibits p53 function to increase the expression of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and DNA methylation of the promoter of pre-miR-218-1, a precursor of miR-218-5p, and increases the expression of a long non-coding RNA OIP5 antisense RNA 1 (lnc-OIP5-AS1), which acts as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) of miR-218-5p to inhibit its function and reduce its stability. Moreover, lnc-OIP5-AS1 increases DNA methylation of the pre-miR-218-1 promoter. Finally, deletion of vIRF1 from the KSHV genome reduces the level of lnc-OIP5-AS1, increases the level of miR-218-5p, and inhibits KSHV-induced invasion. Together, these results define a novel complex lnc-OIP5-AS1/miR-218-5p network hijacked by vIRF1 to promote invasiveness and motility of KSHV-induced tumors.
Li, W., Wang, Q., Feng, Q., Wang, F., Yan, Q., Gao, S. J., & Lu, C. (2019). Oncogenic KSHV-encoded interferon regulatory factor upregulates HMGB2 and CMPK1 expression to promote cell invasion by disrupting a complex lncRNA-OIP5-AS1/miR-218-5p network. PLoS Pathogens, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007578