M-T5, the ankyrin repeat, host range protein of myxoma virus, activates Akt and can be functionally replaced by cellular PIKE-A

Steven J. Werden, John W. Barrett, Gen Wang, Marianne M. Stanford, Grant McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The myxoma virus (MV) ankyrin repeat, host range factor M-T5 has the ability to bind and activate cellular Akt, leading to permissive MV replication in a variety of diverse human cancer cell lines (G. Wang, J. W. Barrett, M. Stanford, S. J. Werden, J. B. Johnston, X. Gao, M. Sun, J. Q. Cheng, and G. McFadden, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103:4640-4645, 2006). The susceptibility of permissive human cancer cells to MV infection is directly correlated with the basal or induced levels of phosphorylated Akt. When M-T5 is deleted from MV, the knockout virus, vMyxT5KO, can no longer productively infect a subset of human cancer cells (designated type II) that exhibit little or no endogenous phosphorylated Akt. In searching for a host counterpart of M-T5, we noted sequence similarity of M-T5 to a recently identified ankyrin repeat cellular binding protein of Akt called PIKE-A. PIKE-A binds and activates the kinase activity of Akt in a GTP-dependent manner and promotes the invasiveness of human cancer cell lines. Here, we demonstrate that transfected PIKE-A is able to rescue the ability of vMyxT5KO to productively infect type II human cancer cells that were previously resistant to infection. Also, cancer cells that were completely nonpermissive for both wild-type and vMyxT5KO infection (called type III) were rendered fully permissive following ectopic expression of PIKE-A. We conclude that the MV M-T5 host range protein is functionally interchangeable with the host PIKE-A protein and that the activation of host Akt by either M-T5 or PIKE-A is critical for the permissiveness of human cancer cells for MV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2340-2348
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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