PIP3 dephosphorylation is catalyzed by phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), which is a phosphatase frequently mutated or deleted in cancers . The hyperactivation of AKT, due to activation of class I PI3K or to PTEN
mutations/deletion, promotes cellular proliferation, glucose metabolism, protein synthesis and increases evasion from apoptosis induction by inactivating pro-apoptotic proteins check details [18, 19]. AKT pathway can be activated in KSHV-infected cells as a consequence of the expression of viral proteins that interfere with PTEN [20, 21], or directly activate PI3K . AKT stimulates glycolysis by increasing the expression and membrane translocation of glucose transporters (i.e., GLUT1) which correlates with decreased response to therapy, BI 6727 cost as also reported by our studies , and overall survival in many cancer patients . GLUT1 up-regulation and membrane exposure is indeed intricately linked to cancer progression since cancer cells need to support high proliferation rates and thus require efficient biosynthesis of macromolecules . Consequently, signals leading to increased proliferation must also drive the necessary adaptation to the new metabolic needs . Here we evaluated the impact of KSHV-mediated AKT hyperphosphorylation in THP-1 infected cells
and how it could be possible to inhibit this pathway. We show that KSHV-latent infection of THP-1 cells resulted in AKT hyperactivation that correlated with an higher resistance to the treatment with proteasome
inhibitor bortezomib, whose cytotoxic effect can be mediated also by Lepirudin reducing AKT phosphorylation in several tumor cell types [25–27]. AKT hyperphosphorylation by KSHV correlated with GLUT1 plasma-membrane exposure on the cell surface in THP-1 cells. Treatment of THP-1 infected cells or Primary Effusion Lymphoma (PEL) cells, harboring KSHV, with 2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2DG), a glycolysis inhibitor reported to induce a cytotoxic effect in cancer cells , allowed efficient cell death that was further increased by combination with bortezomib. Our study reinforces the growing interest of metabolic perturbation in cancer therapy and highlights the potential use of the combination of bortezomib and 2DG as an anticancer treatment of KSHV-associated malignancies. Materials and methods Cell cultures and reagents Human monocytic cell line THP-1 and primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) were cultured in RPMI 1640 (Sigma, St. Louis, MO, USA; cat no. R0883) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (Euroclone, Milan, Italy; cat no. ECLS0180L), NVP-BGJ398 mw glutamine (300 g/ml), streptomycin (100 g/ml) and penicillin (100U/ml, Gibco Carlsbad, CA, USA; cat no. 10378-016) in 5% CO2 at 37°C. 2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) (Sigma cat no. D8375) was used at 10mM, Bortezomib (Santa Cruz, CA, USA; cat no. sc-217785) and AKT inhibitor LY294002 (Sigma cat no.