Oncogenic mechanisms and immune control of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus

Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) usually causes an asymptomatic persistent infection of humans, where it infects B lymphocytes and endothelial cells. However, KSHV is the aetiological agent of the B cell malignancy primary effusion lymphoma and the endothelial cell malignancy Kaposi sarcoma which is the most frequently reported malignancy in untreated HIV-infected patients and sub-Saharan African men. KSHV infection is also associated with the plasmablastic variant of multicentric Castleman disease.

Our laboratories focus on understanding how KSHV promotes oncogenesis through manipulating the DNA damage pathway, interfering with apoptotic pathways and avoiding recognition and clearance by T lymphocytes. These studies are undertaken using in vitro cell infection models that we have developed, primarily infecting cells with recombinant strains of KSHV.

Current principal investigators include:

Dr Roger Grand (DNA damage)
Dr. Andrew Hislop (Immune control)