SUMO Modification of Histone Demethylase KDM4A in Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus-Induced Primary Effusion Lymphoma

Wayne W. Yeh, Yin Quan Chen, Wan Shan Yang, Yung Chih Hong, Sen Kao, Tze Tze Liu, Ting Wen Chen, Lung Chang, Pei Ching Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a fatal B-cell lymphoma caused by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection. Inducing KSHV lytic replication that causes the death of host cells is an attractive treatment approach for PE; however, combination therapy inhibiting viral production is frequently needed to improve its outcomes. We have previously shown that the KSHV lytic protein K-bZIP can SUMOylate histone lysine demethylase 4A (KDM4A) at lysine 471 (K471) and this SUMOylation is required for virus production upon KSHV reactivation. Here, we demonstrate that SUMOylation of KDM4A orchestrates PEL cell survival, a major challenge for the success of PEL treatment; and cell movement and angiogenesis, the cell functions contributing to PEL cell extravasation and dissemination. Furthermore, integrated ChIP-seq and RNA-seq analyses identified interleukin-10 (IL-10), an immunosuppressive cytokine, as a novel downstream target of KDM4A. We demonstrate that PEL-induced angiogenesis is dependent on IL-10. More importantly, single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) analysis demonstrated that, at the late stage of KSHV reactivation, KDM4A determines the fates of PEL cells, as evidenced by two distinct cell populations; one with less apoptotic signaling expresses high levels of viral genes and the other is exactly opposite, while KDM4A-K417R-expressing cells contain only the apoptotic population with less viral gene expression. Consistently, KDM4A knockout significantly reduced cell viability and virus production in KSHV-reactivated PEL cells. Since inhibiting PEL extravasation and eradicating KSHV-infected PEL cells without increasing viral load provide a strong rationale for treating PEL, this study indicates targeting KDM4A as a promising therapeutic option for treating PEL.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • KDM4A
  • Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)
  • SUMOylation
  • histone lysine demethylase (KDM)
  • primary effusion lymphoma (PEL)


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