Journal of virology 2017 10 2791(22) pii 10.1128/JVI.00930-17
Double-strand breaks (DSBs) in DNA are recognized by the Ku70/80 heterodimer and the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex and result in activation of the DNA-PK and ATM kinases, which play key roles in regulating the cellular DNA damage response (DDR). DNA tumor viruses such as Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) are known to interact extensively with the DDR during the course of their replicative cycles. Here we show that during lytic amplification of KSHV DNA, the Ku70/80 heterodimer and the MRN complex consistently colocalize with viral genomes in replication compartments (RCs), whereas other DSB repair proteins form foci outside RCs. Depletion of MRE11 and abrogation of its exonuclease activity negatively impact viral replication, while in contrast, knockdown of Ku80 and inhibition of the DNA-PK enzyme, which are involved in nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) repair, enhance amplification of viral DNA. Although the recruitment of DSB-sensing proteins to KSHV RCs is a consistent occurrence across multiple cell types, activation of the ATM-CHK2 pathway during viral replication is a cell line-specific event, indicating that recognition of viral DNA by the DDR does not necessarily result in activation of downstream signaling pathways. We have also observed that newly replicated viral DNA is not associated with cellular histones. Since the presence and modification of these DNA-packaging proteins provide a scaffold for docking of multiple DNA repair factors, the absence of histone deposition may allow the virus to evade localization of DSB repair proteins that would otherwise have a detrimental effect on viral replication.IMPORTANCE Tumor viruses are known to interact with machinery responsible for detection and repair of double-strand breaks (DSBs) in DNA, although detail concerning how Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) modulates these cellular pathways during its lytic replication phase was previously lacking. By undertaking a comprehensive assessment of the localization of DSB repair proteins during KSHV replication, we have determined that a DNA damage response (DDR) is directed to viral genomes but is distinct from the response to cellular DNA damage. We also demonstrate that although recruitment of the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) DSB-sensing complex to viral genomes and activation of the ATM kinase can promote KSHV replication, proteins involved in nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) repair restrict amplification of viral DNA. Overall, this study extends our understanding of the virus-host interactions that occur during lytic replication of KSHV and provides a deeper insight into how the DDR is manipulated during viral infection.