KSHV G-protein coupled receptor vGPCR oncogenic signaling upregulation of Cyclooxygenase-2 expression mediates angiogenesis and tumorigenesis in Kaposi's sarcoma

María Victoria Medina, Agata D'Agostino, Qi Ma, Pilar Eroles, Lucas Cavallin, Chiara Chiozzini, Daiana Sapochnik, Cora Cymeryng, Elizabeth Hyjek, Ethel Cesarman, Julian Naipauer, Enrique A. Mesri, Omar A. Coso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) vGPCR is a constitutively active G protein-coupled receptor that subverts proliferative and inflammatory signaling pathways to induce cell transformation in Kaposi's sarcoma. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is an inflammatory mediator that plays a key regulatory role in the activation of tumor angiogenesis. Hereby we demonstrate, using two different transformed mouse models, and tumorigenic full KSHV genome-bearing cells, including KSHV-Bac16 based mutant system with a vGPCR deletion, that vGPCR upregulates COX-2 expression and activity, signaling through selective MAPK cascades. We show that vGPCR expression triggers signaling pathways that upregulate COX-2 levels due to a dual effect upon both its gene promoter region and, in mature mRNA, the 3'UTR region that control mRNA stability. Both events are mediated by signaling through ERK1/2 MAPK pathway. Inhibition of COX-2 in vGPCR-transformed cells impairs vGPCRdriven angiogenesis and treatment with the COX-2-selective inhibitory drug Celecoxib produces a significant decrease in tumor growth, pointing to COX-2 activity as critical for vGPCR oncogenicity in vivo and indicating that COX-2-mediated angiogenesis could play a role in KS tumorigenesis. These results, along with the overexpression of COX-2 in KS lesions, define COX-2 as a potential target for the prevention and treatment of KSHV-oncogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1009006
JournalPLoS pathogens
Volume16
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology

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