B.V.Sc., Veterinary College and Research Institute, India
M.V.Sc., Madras Veterinary College, India
Ph.D., South Dakota State University
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV) or human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8), a member of the
γ2-herpesvirus family (genus
Rhadinovirus), is involved in the pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), primary effusion lymphoma and a subset of multicentric Castleman disease. KSHV was first described in KS lesion by representational difference analysis. KSHV associated diseases occur in HIV negative as well as HIV positive patients around the world. KS is often times referred to as AIDS-defining illness. Advances in virus biology (includes both herpes viruses and others) have been made by the use of virus specific target cells and analyzing different stages of the virus infectious process, critical signaling cascades induced by the virus, and those cellular signals that benefit the virus infection. However, there is very little information available on the role(s) of microRNA (miRNA) on virus entry, infection, and pathogenesis. My lab's primary focus is on:
I. Understanding the mechanism by which microRNAs (miRNAs) alter KSHV infection and mediated pathogenesis. MicroRNAs are one of the main classes of non-coding RNAs. These are small non-coding RNAs that regulate expression of genes in cells. The human genome encodes thousands of miRNAs. Of late, miRNAs have emerged as a pivotal component of host cell responses to a pathogen including viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
II. Understanding the role of miRNAs in HIV-associated pathogenesis. This part of the study is being pursued in collaboration with Paul Cook, MD (Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases; http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/im/infectiousdiseases/index.cfm). We use human participants to unearth the role for miRNAs indicating the outcome of infection with HIV and other AIDS-associated pathogens.
The long-term goals are, (1) understanding certain unexplained facets of virus entry and replication using in vitro and in vivo models; and (2) developing anti-viral/anti-cancer therapies based on targeting specific signaling molecule(s).
A GUIDE to PhD Success. Akula SM. 2012.
Beyond the Future. Akula SM. 2014
HAM, Akula SM. 2017. miRNA-36 inhibits KSHV, EBV, HSV-2 infection of cells via
stifling expression of interferon induced transmembrane protein 1 (IFITM1).
Scientific Reports (In Press).Hussein
HAM, Akula SM. 2017. Profiling of cellular microRNA responses during the early
stages of KSHV infection. Arch Virol.
Cook, A.T. Stang, L.R. Walker, S.M. Akula, F.J. Cook, Bone mineral density and
vitamin D levels in HIV African-American subjects receiving Tenofovir,
Emtricitabine, Efavirenz versus Raltegravir, Darunavir, Ritonavir. South Med J
(2016; In Press).Hussein,
A.M.H., Walker, L.R. and Akula, S.M. 2016. KSHV gB associated RGD interactions
promote attachment of cells by inhibiting the potential migratory signals
induced by the disintegrin-like domain. BMC Cancer 16:148-165.Walker,
L.R., Hussein, A.M.H., and Akula, S.M. 2015. Subcellular fractionation method
to study endosomal trafficking of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. Cell
L.R., Hussein, A.M.H., and Akula, S.M. 2014. Disintegrin-like domain of
glycoprotein B regulates Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection of
cells. J Gen Virol 95:1770-82.Grange,
P., Gressier, L., Williams, J.F., Dyson, O.F., Akula, S.M., and Dupin, N. 2012.
Cloning a human saliva-derived peptide for preventing KSHV transmission.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology 132(6):1733-5.Dyson,
O.F., Walker, L.R., Whitehouse, A., Cook, P.P., and Akula S.M. 2012.
Resveratrol Inhibits KSHV Reactivation by Lowering the Levels of Cellular
EGR-1. PLoS One 7(3):e33364.Dyson,
O.F., Traylen, C., and Akula, S. M. 2010. Cell membrane bound KSHV encoded gB
promotes virus latency by regulating expression of cellular Egr-1. J. Biol.
O.F., Ford, P.W., Chen, D., Li, Y-Q., and Akula, S.M. 2009. Raman tweezers
provide the fingerprint of cells supporting the late stages of KSHV
reactivation. J. Cell. Mol. Med. 13:1920-1932.Whitman,
A.G., Dyson, O.F., Lambert, P.J., Oxendine, T.L., Ford, P.W., and Akula, S.M.
2007. Changes occurring on the cell surface during KSHV reactivation. J.
Electron Microsc. 56:27-36.Ford,
P.W., Bryan, A.B., Dyson, O.F., Weidner, D.A., Chintalgattu, V., and Akula,
S.M. 2006. RAF/MEK/ERK signalling triggers reactivation of Kaposi's
sarcoma-associated herpesvirus latency. J. Gen. Virol. 87:1139-1144.Bryan,
B.A., Dyson, O.F., and Akula, S.M. 2006.Identifying Cellular Genes Crucial for
the Reactivation of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Latency. J. Gen.
S.M., Ford, P.W., Whitman, A.G., Hamden, K.E., Bryan, B.A., Cook, P.P., and
McCubrey, J.A. 2005. Raf Induces Expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth
Factor in Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Infected Human B cells. Blood
K.H., Ford, P.W., Whitman, A.G., Dyson, O.F., Cheng, S.Y., McCubrey, J.A., and
Akula, S.M. 2004.Raf induced Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Augments
Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) Infection. J. Virol
S.M.,Ford, P.W., Whitman, A.G., Hamden, K.H., Shelton, J.G., and McCubrey,
J.A.2004.Raf promotes human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8/KSHV) infection. Oncogene
S.M., Pramod, N.P., Sharma-Walia, N, Wang, F-Z., Fegley, B., and Chandran,
B.2003.Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) Infection of Human
Fibroblast Cells Occurs Through Endocytosis. J. Virol. 77(14):7978-7990.Akula,
S.M., Pramod, N.P., Wang, F-Z., and Chandran, B.2002.Integrin alpha3beta1 (CD
49c/29) is a cellular receptor for Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus
(KSHV/HHV-8) entry into the target cells. Cell 108(3):407-419.
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Postdoctoral Scholars and Research Instructors