Frank Jenkins

  • Professor, Pathology
  • Professor, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology

The role of a newly discovered human herpesvirus, HHV-8, in development and pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma and other human cancers. Research Summary Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), or HHV-8, is a newly discovered member of the human herpesvirus family whose DNA sequences have been found in samples of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). The discovery of a new human herpesvirus has generated a great deal of interest which is magnified by its potential role in the establishment of human cancers. KSHV DNA sequences have been detected in tissues from AIDS-associated, classic, and endemic forms of KS as well as in some EBV-infected lymphomas and non-KS skin cancers. A number of projects in our laboratory are focused on the prevalence of KSHV infection in various cohorts and populations. We are particularly interested in the serological association of KSHV with human prostate cancer and are investigating at a molecular level, potential roles for KSHV in progression and maintenance of this cancer. We are also exploring the events during a primary KSHV infection including interactions between the virus and cell membrane, modulation of host gene synthesis and establishment of a viral infection.