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Tumour Virus Research


Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) is a heterogenous, multifocal vascular malignancy caused by the human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8), also known as Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV). Here, we show that KS lesions express iNOS/NOS2 broadly throughout KS lesions, with enrichment in LANA positive spindle cells. The iNOS byproduct 3-nitrotyrosine is also enriched in LANA positive tumor cells and colocalizes with a fraction of LANA-nuclear bodies. We show that iNOS is highly expressed in the L1T3/mSLK tumor model of KS. iNOS expression correlated with KSHV lytic cycle gene expression, which was elevated in late-stage tumors (>4 weeks) but to a lesser degree in early stage (1 week) xenografts. Further, we show that L1T3/mSLK tumor growth is sensitive to an inhibitor of nitric oxide, L-NMMA. L-NMMA treatment reduced KSHV gene expression and perturbed cellular gene pathways relating to oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial dysfunction. These finding suggest that iNOS is expressed in KSHV infected endothelial-transformed tumor cells in KS, that iNOS expression depends on tumor microenvironment stress conditions, and that iNOS enzymatic activity contributes to KS tumor growth.

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