Focal adhesion kinase is critical for entry of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus into target cells

Harinivas H. Krishnan, Neelam Sharma-Walia, Daniel N. Streblow, Pramod P. Naranatt, Bala Chandran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8 (KSHV/HHV-8) interacts with cell surface α3β1 integrin early during in vitro infection of human endothelial cells and fibroblasts and activates the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) that is immediately downstream in the outside-in signaling pathway by integrins, leading to the activation of several downstream signaling molecules. In this study, using real-time DNA and reverse transcription-PCR assays to measure total internalized viral DNA, viral DNA associated with infected nuclei, and viral gene expression, we examined the stage of infection at which FAK plays the most significant role. Early during KSHV infection, FAK was phosphorylated in FAK-positive Du17 mouse embryonic fibroblasts. The absence of FAK in Du3 (FAK-/-) cells resulted in about 70% reduction in the internalization of viral DNA, suggesting that FAK plays a role in KSHV entry. Expression of FAK in Du3 (FAK-/-) cells via an adenovirus vector augmented the internalization of viral DNA. Expression of the FAK dominant-negative mutant FAK-related nonkinase (FRNK) in Du17 cells significantly reduced the entry of virus. Virus entry in Du3 cells, albeit in reduced quantity, delivery of viral DNA to the infected cell nuclei, and expression of KSHV genes suggested that in the absence of FAK, another molecule(s) may be partially compensating for FAK function. Infection of Du3 cells induced the phosphorylation of the FAK-related proline-rich tyrosine kinase (Pyk2) molecule, which has been shown to complement some of the functions of FAK. Expression of an autophosphorylation site mutant of Pyk2 in which Y402 is mutated to F (F402 Pyk2) reduced viral entry in Du3 cells, suggesting that Pyk2 facilitates viral entry moderately in the absence of FAK. These results suggest a critical role for KSHV infection-induced FAK in the internalization of viral DNA into target cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1180
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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