Epstein-Barr Virus Immortalization of Human B-Cells Leads to Stabilization of Hypoxia-Induced Factor 1 Alpha, Congruent with the Warburg Effect
AuthorDarekar, S.; Georgiou, K.; Yurchenko, M.; Yenamandra, S. P.; Chachami, G.; Simos, G.; Klein, G.; Kashuba, E.
Background: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encodes six nuclear transformation-associated proteins that induce extensive changes in cellular gene expression and signaling and induce B-cell transformation. The role of HIF1A in EBV-induced B-cell immortalization has not been previously studied. Methods and Findings: Using Western blotting and Q-PCR, we found that HIF1A protein is stabilized in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cells. Western blotting, GST pulldown assays, and immunoprecipitation showed that EBV-encoded nuclear antigens EBNA-5 and EBNA-3 bind to prolylhydroxylases 1 and 2, respectively, thus inhibiting HIF1A hydroxylation and degradation. Immunostaining and Q-PCR showed that the stabilized HIF1A translocates to the nucleus, forms a heterodimer with ARNT, and transactivates several genes involved in aerobic glycolysis. Using biochemical assays and Q-PCR, we also found that lymphoblastoid cells produce high levels of lactate, lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate. Conclusions: Our data suggest that activation of the aerobic glycolytic pathway, corresponding to the Warburg effect, occurs in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cells, in contrast to mitogen-activated B-cells.