Insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor expression is promoted by human herpesvirus 8-encoded interleukin-6 and contributes to viral latency and productive replication

Qian Li, Daming Chen, Qiwang Xiang, John Nicholas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) viral interleukin-6 (vIL-6) localizes largely to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and here associates functionally with both the gp130 signal transducer and the novel ER membrane protein vitamin K epoxide reductase complex subunit 1 variant-2 (VKORC1v2). The latter interaction contributes to the viability of latently infected primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cells and to HHV-8 productive replication, in part via promotion of ER-associated degradation (ERAD) of nascent procathepsin D (pCatD) and consequent suppression of lysosome-localized proapoptotic mature CatD. Here we report that VKORC1v2 associates with insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor (IGF2R), also known as cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor, which is involved in trafficking of mannose-6-phosphate-conjugated glycoproteins to lysosomes. VKORC1v2 effected reduced IGF2R expression in a manner dependent on VKORC1v2-IGF2R interaction, while vIL-6, which could inhibit VKORC1v2-IGF2R interaction, effected increased expression of IGF2R. These effects were independent of changes in IGF2R mRNA levels, indicating likely posttranslational mechanisms. In kinetic analyses involving labeling of either newly synthesized or preexisting IGF2R, vIL-6 promoted accumulation of the former while having no detectable effect on the latter. Furthermore, vIL-6 led to decreased K48-linked ubiquitination of IGF2R and suppression of ERAD proteins effected increased IGF2R expression and loss of IGF2R regulation by vIL-6. Depletion-based experiments identified IGF2R as a promoter of PEL cell viability and virus yields from lytically reactivated cultures. Our findings identify ER-transiting nascent IGF2R as an interaction partner of VKORC1v2 and target of vIL-6 regulation and IGF2R as a positive contributor to HHV-8 biology, thereby extending understanding of the mechanisms of VKORC1v2-associated vIL-6 function. IMPORTANCE HHV-8 vIL-6 promotes productive replication in the context of reactivated lytic replication in primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and endothelial cells and sustains latently infected PEL cell viability. Viral IL-6 is also considered to contribute significantly to HHV-8-associated pathogenesis, since vIL-6 can promote cell proliferation, cell survival, and angiogenesis that are characteristic of HHV-8-associated Kaposi’s sarcoma, PEL and multicentric Castleman’s disease (MCD), in addition to proinflammatory activities observed in MCD-like “Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-induced cytokine syndrome.” We show in the present study that vIL-6 can promote productive replication and latent PEL cell viability through upregulation of the mannose-6-phosphate- and peptide hormone-interacting receptor IGF2R, which is a positive factor in HHV-8 biology via these activities. VKORC1v2-enhanced ER-associated degradation of IGF2R and vIL-6 promotion of IGF2R expression through prevention of its interaction with VKORC1v2 and consequent rescue from degradation represent newly recognized activities of VKOCR1v2 and vIL-6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere02026-18
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor
  • ER-associated degradation
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • Insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor
  • Latency
  • Replication
  • Viral interleukin-6
  • Vitamin K epoxide reductase complex subunit 1 variant-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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