Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) is a B cell tropic human pathogen, which is present in vivo in monotypic immunoglobulin λ (Igλ) light chain but polyclonal B cells. In the current study, we use cell sorting to infect specific B cell lineages from human tonsil specimens in order to examine the immunophenotypic alterations associated with KSHV infection. We describe IL-6 dependent maturation of naïve B lymphocytes in response to KSHV infection and determine that the Igλ monotypic bias of KSHV infection in vivo is due to viral induction of BCR revision. Infection of immunoglobulin κ (Igκ) naïve B cells induces expression of Igλ and isotypic inclusion, with eventual loss of Igκ. We show that this phenotypic shift occurs via re-induction of Rag-mediated V(D)J recombination. These data explain the selective presence of KSHV in Igλ B cells in vivo and provide the first evidence that a human pathogen can manipulate the molecular mechanisms responsible for immunoglobulin diversity.
Totonchy J, Osborn JM, Chadburn A, Nabiee R, Argueta L, Mikita G, et al. KSHV induces immunoglobulin rearrangements in mature B lymphocytes. PLoS Pathog. 2018;14(4):e1006967. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006967
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