Despite remarkable advances in medical research and treatments during the 20th century, infection- associated cancers remain among the leading causes of death worldwide. Among a wide variety of factors that enable pathogens to invade host populations and cause diseases, host characteristics such as immunosuppression are the foremost contributing factors. Specifically, those with HIV/AIDS have an increased incidence of Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) relative to the general population, highlighting how important host immunity is in controlling Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) that is one of seven human oncoviruses. In order to improve our ability to respond more effectively to KS in immunosuppressed patients, we should thus improve our understanding of how hosts and KS-causing pathogen combat each other and how KS-causing pathogen operates in the immune compromised hosts. Specifically, understanding how KSHV gene products contribute to the establishment of persistent infection and pathogenesis requires a reverse genetics approach for the viral genetic manipulation, in vitro and in vivo assay systems for viral oncogenesis, and an animal model for in vivo viral persistence under active host immune conditions. Thus, our achievements in the following ways will provide biologically relevant settings for the study of in vivo KSHV persistence and pathogenesis: understanding the viral evasion of host immunity and the viral strategy of cell growth transformation and developing the infectious KSHV BAC clone and the humanized mouse and primate models.

Public Health Relevance

Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is one of seven currently known human oncoviruses. This virus causes Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease. Our goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms of persistence and oncogenesis of KSHV, which ultimately leads to anti-viral therapy and vaccine development.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Unknown (R35)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
Program Officer
Read-Connole, Elizabeth Lee
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Southern California
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
Seo, Gil Ju; Kim, Charlotte; Shin, Woo-Jin et al. (2018) TRIM56-mediated monoubiquitination of cGAS for cytosolic DNA sensing. Nat Commun 9:613
Liang, Qiming; Wei, Dahai; Chung, Brian et al. (2018) Novel Role of vBcl2 in the Virion Assembly of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus. J Virol 92:
Foo, Suan-Sin; Chen, Weiqiang; Chan, Yen et al. (2018) Biomarkers and immunoprofiles associated with fetal abnormalities of ZIKV-positive pregnancies. JCI Insight 3:
Lee, Na-Rae; Ban, Junsu; Lee, Noh-Jin et al. (2018) Activation of RIG-I-Mediated Antiviral Signaling Triggers Autophagy Through the MAVS-TRAF6-Beclin-1 Signaling Axis. Front Immunol 9:2096
Gruffaz, Marion; Zhou, Shenghua; Vasan, Karthik et al. (2018) Repurposing Cytarabine for Treating Primary Effusion Lymphoma by Targeting Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Latent and Lytic Replications. MBio 9:
Foo, Suan-Sin; Chen, Weiqiang; Chan, Yen et al. (2017) Asian Zika virus strains target CD14+ blood monocytes and induce M2-skewed immunosuppression during pregnancy. Nat Microbiol 2:1558-1570
Moon, Ho-Jin; Nikapitiya, Chamilani; Lee, Hyun-Cheol et al. (2017) Inhibition of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus by a peptide derived from vFLIP through its direct destabilization of viruses. Sci Rep 7:4875
Hwang, Sung-Woo; Kim, DongIk; Jung, Jae U et al. (2017) KSHV-encoded viral interferon regulatory factor 4 (vIRF4) interacts with IRF7 and inhibits interferon alpha production. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 486:700-705
Kim, Jae-Hoon; Park, Min-Eun; Nikapitiya, Chamilani et al. (2017) FAS-associated factor-1 positively regulates type I interferon response to RNA virus infection by targeting NLRX1. PLoS Pathog 13:e1006398
Zhu, Ying; Li, Tingting; Ramos da Silva, Suzane et al. (2017) A Critical Role of Glutamine and Asparagine ?-Nitrogen in Nucleotide Biosynthesis in Cancer Cells Hijacked by an Oncogenic Virus. MBio 8:

Showing the most recent 10 out of 16 publications