Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus ORF18 and ORF30 are essential for late gene expression during lytic replication

Danyang Gong, Nicholas C. Wu, Yafang Xie, Jun Feng, Leming Tong, Kevin F. Brulois, Harding Luan, Yushen Du, Jae U. Jung, Cun Yu Wang, Mo Kwan Kang, No Hee Park, Ren Sun, Ting Ting Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is associated with several human malignances. As saliva is likely the major vehicle for KSHV transmission, we studied in vitro KSHV infection of oral epithelial cells. Through infection of two types of oral epithelial cells, normal human oral keratinocytes (NHOKs) and papilloma-immortalized human oral keratinocyte (HOK16B) cells, we found that KSHV can undergo robust lytic replication in oral epithelial cells. By employing de novo lytic infection of HOK16B cells, we studied the functions of two previously uncharacterized genes, ORF18 and ORF30, during the KSHV lytic cycle. For this purpose, an ORF18-deficient virus and an ORF30-deficient virus were generated using a mutagenesis strategy based on bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) technology. We found that neither ORF18 nor ORF30 is required for immediately early or early gene expression or viral DNA replication, but each is essential for late gene expression during both de novo lytic replication and reactivation. This critical role of ORF18 and ORF30 in late gene expression was also observed during KSHV reactivation. In addition, global analysis of viral transcripts by RNA sequencing indicated that ORF18 and ORF30 control the same set of viral genes. Therefore, we suggest that these two viral ORFs are involved in the same mechanism or pathway that coregulates the viral late genes as a group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11369-11382
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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