Marek’s disease virus (MDV) encodes a basic-leucine zipper (BZIP) protein, Meq, which is considered the major MDV oncoprotein. It has been reported that the oncogenicity of Meq is associated with its interaction with C-terminal binding protein 1 (CtBP), which is also an interaction partner of Epstein-Barr virus encoded EBNA3A and EBNA3C oncoproteins. Since both EBNA3C and CtBP interact with histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and HDAC2, we examined whether Meq shares this interaction with chicken HDAC1 (chHDAC1) and chHDAC2. Using confocal microscopy analysis, we show that Meq co-localizes with chHDAC1 and chHDAC2 in the nuclei of MDV lymphoblastoid tumor cells. In addition, immunoprecipitation assays demonstrate that Meq interacts with chHDAC1 and chHDAC2 in transfected cells and MDV lymphoblastoid tumor cells. Using deletion mutants, interaction domains were mapped to the N-terminal dimerization domain of chHDAC1 and chHDAC2, and the BZIP domain of Meq. Our results further demonstrate that this interaction mediates the degradation of chHDAC1 and chHDAC2 via the proteasome dependent pathway. In addition, our results show that Meq also induces the reduction of global ubiquitinated proteins through a proteasome dependent pathway. In conclusion, our results provide evidence that Meq interacts with chHDAC1 and chHDAC2, and induces their proteasome dependent degradation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas