Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) activates the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway to promote cell survival and induce actin filament remodeling

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The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is an integral membrane protein that functions as a constitutively activated member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor family. Whereas LMP1 has been shown to activate the NF-kappaB and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, these effects alone are unable to account for the profound oncogenic properties of LMP1. Here we show that LMP1 can activate phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), a lipid kinase responsible for activating a diverse range of cellular processes in response to extracellular stimuli. LMP1 was found to stimulate PI3K activity inducing phosphorylation and subsequent activation of Akt, a downstream target of PI3K responsible for promoting cell survival. Treatment of LMP1-expressing cells with the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 resulted in decreased cell survival. The tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor-binding domain of LMP1 was found to be responsible for PI3K activation. The ability of LMP1 to induce actin stress-fiber formation, a Rho GTPase-mediated phenomenon, was also dependent on PI3K activation. These data implicate PI3K activation in many of the LMP1-induced phenotypic effects associated with transformation and suggests that this pathway contributes both to the oncogenicity of this molecule and its role in the establishment of persistent EBV infection.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3694-3704
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
Early online date21 Nov 2002
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2003