We have previously shown that Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) impairs monocyte differentiation into dendritic cells (DCs). Macroautophagy/autophagy has been reported to be essential in such a differentiating process. Here we extended these studies and found that the impairment of DC formation by KSHV occurs through autophagy inhibition. KSHV indeed reduces CAST (calpastatin) and consequently decreases ATG5 expression in both THP-1 monocytoid cells and primary monocytes. We unveiled a new mechanism put in place by KSHV to escape from immune control. The discovery of viral immune suppressive strategies that contribute to the onset and progression of viral-associated malignancies is of fundamental importance for finding new therapeutic approaches against them.
KSHV reduces autophagy in THP-1 cells and in differentiating monocytes by decreasing CAST/calpastatin and ATG5 expression.