Kaposi'sarcoma (KS) is the most common cancer in AIDS patients, and is associated with infection of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV8). KS is a highly angiogenic vascular neoplasm primarily consisting of proliferating spindle endothelial cells with vast inflammatory infiltration. The long-term goal of our research program is to understand the molecular mechanism of KSHV-induced pathogenesis, providing a scientific basis for developing effective preventive and therapeutic approaches. Recent studies have shown that angiogenesis and inflammation are two central components in KS pathogenesis, and KSHV infection modulates these processes through a paracrine mechanism by inducing pro-angiogenic and inflammatory factors. The objective of this application is to define the mechanisms by which KSHV induces angiogenesis, and identify potential therapeutic targets for KSHV-induced malignancies. Our preliminary studies have shown that KSHV infection of human umbilical vein endothelial cells induces secretion of pro-angiogenic factors and represses secretion of angiogenesis inhibitors. Importantly, we have found that pro-angiogenic factors angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) are highly induced by KSHV, and are also highly expressed in KS tumors. Significantly, we have shown that blocking Ang-2 alone with a neutralization antibody abolishes KSHV-induced paracrine-dependent angiogenesis in vivo. We hypothesize that KSHV infection induces angiogenesis through a paracrine mechanism by expressing specific viral gene products to modulate cellular angiogenic pathways, and as a result, targeting these angiogenic pathways can inhibit KSHV- induced tumorigenesis. To test this hypothesis, we will identify KSHV-regulated pro-angiogenic factors and angiogenesis inhibitors essential for KSHV-induced angiogenesis (aim I);determine the cellular pathways that mediate KSHV regulation of Ang-2, IL-6 and MMP-1 in latent infection (aim II);and identify viral genes that regulate the expression of Ang-2 (aim III). Finally, we will test the therapeutic applications of inhibiting KSHV-induced specific angiogenic pathways in tumor animal models (aim IV). The proposed project is innovative because it will use comprehensive multidisciplinary approaches to identify viral and cellular pathways, and pro-angiogenic factors/angiogenesis inhibitors that control KSHV-induced angiogenesis. These studies are significant because it will not only define the mechanism(s) of KSHV-induced angiogenesis but also identify potential therapeutic targets for KSHV-induced malignancies.

Public Health Relevance

Kaposi's sarcoma is a common malignancy in AIDS patients in US and worldwide inflicting morbidity and mortality to the society. This project will investigate the mechanism underlining the development of Kaposi's sarcoma, and identify potential targets for the prevention and treatment of this disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AARR-C (04))
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Read-Connole, Elizabeth Lee
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University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
Schools of Medicine
San Antonio
United States
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Li, Wan; Jia, Xuemei; Shen, Chenyou et al. (2016) A KSHV microRNA enhances viral latency and induces angiogenesis by targeting GRK2 to activate the CXCR2/AKT pathway. Oncotarget 7:32286-305
Cheng, Fan; He, Meilan; Jung, Jae U et al. (2016) Suppression of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Infection and Replication by 5'-AMP-Activated Protein Kinase. J Virol 90:6515-25
Ye, Fengchun; Zeng, Yan; Sha, Jingfeng et al. (2016) High Glucose Induces Reactivation of Latent Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus. J Virol :
Lee, Myung-Shin; Yuan, Hongfeng; Jeon, Hyungtaek et al. (2016) Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells of Diverse Origins Support Persistent Infection with Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus and Manifest Distinct Angiogenic, Invasive, and Transforming Phenotypes. MBio 7:e02109-15
Yao, Shuihong; Hu, Minmin; Hao, Tingting et al. (2015) MiRNA-891a-5p mediates HIV-1 Tat and KSHV Orf-K1 synergistic induction of angiogenesis by activating NF-κB signaling. Nucleic Acids Res 43:9362-78
Zhang, Junjie; Zhu, Lining; Lu, Xiaolu et al. (2015) Recombinant Murine Gamma Herpesvirus 68 Carrying KSHV G Protein-Coupled Receptor Induces Angiogenic Lesions in Mice. PLoS Pathog 11:e1005001
Bowman, James; Rodgers, Mary A; Shi, Mude et al. (2015) Posttranslational Modification of HOIP Blocks Toll-Like Receptor 4-Mediated Linear-Ubiquitin-Chain Formation. MBio 6:e01777-15
Brulois, Kevin; Wong, Lai-Yee; Lee, Hye-Ra et al. (2015) Association of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus ORF31 with ORF34 and ORF24 Is Critical for Late Gene Expression. J Virol 89:6148-54
Cheng, Fan; Sawant, Tanvee Vinod; Lan, Ke et al. (2015) Screening of the Human Kinome Identifies MSK1/2-CREB1 as an Essential Pathway Mediating Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Lytic Replication during Primary Infection. J Virol 89:9262-80
Hu, Minmin; Wang, Cong; Li, Wan et al. (2015) A KSHV microRNA Directly Targets G Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2 to Promote the Migration and Invasion of Endothelial Cells by Inducing CXCR2 and Activating AKT Signaling. PLoS Pathog 11:e1005171

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