Long-term goals: The overall goal of this project is to elucidate the replication mechanism of KSHV during latent infection. Kaposi's sarcoma associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) predominantly infects B cells and endothelial cells and persists indefinitely with the expression of a limited number of genes. These latent genes have been shown to induce cell proliferation/tumorigenesis. Viral DNA which persists as an episome gets passage to the dividing tumor cells during tumorigenesis. Although a number of studies have shown that TR region of the genome can support replication, the mechanism of the replication is not clearly understood. Studies elucidating the mechanism of latent DNA replication will provide clues of viral and cellular molecules required for replication initiation and therefore will allow targeting of these molecules as potential therapeutics. KSHV associated tumors is a major health problem for the HIV infected individuals as well as Organ transplanted patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapies to prevent graft rejections.
Specific aims :1- Identification of the replication initiation sites on the KSHV genome and cloning of the KSHV regions capable of replicating and their replicative potential in Dpnl sensitivity assay. 2- Evaluation of the role of trans acting viral protein LANA on the replication of KSHV genome fragment. Meselson and Stahl experiment with the plasmids containing these replicating elements to determine the rate and nature (semi- conservative) of replication by these replicons. Evaluation for long-term persistence by these plasmids. 3- Determination of the cellular protein dynamics at the replication origins. The candidate has a Ph.D. in Biotechnology and almost four years of post-doctoral research experience in molecular virology working on KSHV encoded LANA and the replication of KSHV genome during latency. The immediate goal of the candidate is to understand the mechanism of KSHV latent DNA replication more specifically mapping of the LANA independent replication origin, sequence requirement and protein dynamics at replication initiation sites to specifically block KSHV mediated cancers. My long-term career goal is to establish myself as a independent researcher in a an academic environment in the field of molecular virology. This research will help to understand the replication and passage of virus in tumor cells and thereby using specific inhibitors replication and passage of the virus in the tumor cells will be blocked.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Transition Award (R00)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RTRB-A (M1))
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Read-Connole, Elizabeth Lee
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University of Nevada Reno
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Gaur, Nivedita; Gandhi, Jaya; Robertson, Erle S et al. (2015) Epstein-Barr virus latent antigens EBNA3C and EBNA1 modulate epithelial to mesenchymal transition of cancer cells associated with tumor metastasis. Tumour Biol 36:3051-60
McDowell, Maria E; Purushothaman, Pravinkumar; Rossetto, Cyprian C et al. (2013) Phosphorylation of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus processivity factor ORF59 by a viral kinase modulates its ability to associate with RTA and oriLyt. J Virol 87:8038-52
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Lu, Jie; Murakami, Masanao; Verma, Subhash C et al. (2011) Epstein-Barr Virus nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) confers resistance to apoptosis in EBV-positive B-lymphoma cells through up-regulation of survivin. Virology 410:64-75
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Cai, Qiliang; Verma, Suhbash C; Kumar, Pankaj et al. (2010) Hypoxia inactivates the VHL tumor suppressor through PIASy-mediated SUMO modification. PLoS One 5:e9720
Cai, Qiliang; Verma, Subhash C; Choi, Ji-Young et al. (2010) Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus inhibits interleukin-4-mediated STAT6 phosphorylation to regulate apoptosis and maintain latency. J Virol 84:11134-44
Cai, Qiliang; Verma, Suhbash C; Lu, Jie et al. (2010) Molecular biology of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus and related oncogenesis. Adv Virus Res 78:87-142

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