J Virol 2018 09 29;92(18). Epub 2018 Aug 29.
Fels Institute for Cancer Research & Molecular Biology, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is a potentially oncogenic gammaherpesvirus that establishes a chronic, latent infection in memory B cells. The EBV genome persists in infected host cells as a chromatinized episome and is subject to chromatin-mediated regulation. Binding of the host insulator protein CTCF to the EBV genome has an established role in maintaining viral latency type. CTCF is posttranslationally modified by the host enzyme PARP1. PARP1, or poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1, catalyzes the transfer of a poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) moiety from NAD onto acceptor proteins, including itself, histone proteins, and CTCF. PARylation of CTCF by PARP1 can affect CTCF's insulator activity, DNA binding capacity, and ability to form chromatin loops. Both PARP1 and CTCF have been implicated in the regulation of EBV latency and lytic reactivation. Thus, we predicted that pharmacological inhibition with PARP1 inhibitors would affect EBV latency type through a chromatin-specific mechanism. Here, we show that PARP1 and CTCF colocalize at specific sites throughout the EBV genome and provide evidence to suggest that PARP1 acts to stabilize CTCF binding and maintain the open chromatin landscape at the active Cp promoter during type III latency. Further, PARP1 activity is important in maintaining latency type-specific viral gene expression. The data presented here provide a rationale for the use of PARP inhibitors in the treatment of EBV-associated cancers exhibiting type III latency and ultimately could contribute to an EBV-specific treatment strategy for AIDS-related or posttransplant lymphomas. EBV is a human gammaherpesvirus that infects more than 95% of individuals worldwide. Upon infection, EBV circularizes as an episome and establishes a chronic, latent infection in B cells. In doing so, the virus utilizes host cell machinery to regulate and maintain the viral genome. In otherwise healthy individuals, EBV infection is typically nonpathological; however, latent infection is potentially oncogenic and is responsible for 1% of human cancers. During latent infection, EBV expresses specific sets of proteins according to the given latency type, each of which is associated with specific types of cancers. For example, type III latency, in which the virus expresses its full repertoire of latent proteins, is characteristic of AIDS-associated and posttransplant lymphomas associated with EBV infection. Understanding how viral latency type is regulated at the chromatin level may reveal potential targets for EBV-specific pharmacological intervention in EBV-associated cancers.