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Donald J. Alcendor, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology, Meharry Medical College
  • Associate Professor Health Disparities and HIV, Meharry Medical College
  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Phone

(615) 327-6449

Email

dalcendor@mmc.edu
Meharry Medical College
1005 Dr. D.B. Todd, Jr., Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37208

Donald J. Alcendor, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology, Meharry Medical College
  • Associate Professor Health Disparities and HIV, Meharry Medical College
  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

(615) 327-6449

dalcendor@mmc.edu

Meharry Medical College
1005 Dr. D.B. Todd, Jr., Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37208

Research Program

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Education

Research Emphasis

Dysregulation of genes induced by Kaposi's sarcoma virus for novel therapeutic.

Research Description

Research Description

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has reduced the incidence of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) in developed western countries. However, 95% of the estimated 40 to 60 million people infected with HIV have no access to these drugs. HIV/AIDS-associated KS is still a significant problem in the U.S. among individuals who are noncompliant due to toxicities and those who progress to AIDS without receiving drug therapy. KS is cause by Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and is characterized as an angioproliferative tumor of vascular endothelial cells and produces rare B cell lymphoproliferative diseases in the form of pleural effusion lymphomas (PEL) and some forms of Multicentric Castleman’s Disease (MCD). Only 1-5% of cells in KS lesions actively support lytic replication of KSHV, and it is clear that cellular factors must interact with viral factors in the process of oncogenesis and tumor progression. Identifying novel host-factor determinants that contribute to KS pathology is essential for developing prognostic markers for tumor progression and metastasis as well as novel therapeutics for the treatment of KS.
Our studies thus far have shown that galectin-3, fibulin-2 and fibulin-5 are dysregulated genes in KSHV infected dermal microvascular endothelial cells (DMVEC). All of these genes are implicated in malignancy and most likely contribute to KS pathogenesis. Thus, we are interested in evaluating galectin-3, fibulin-2, and fibulin-5 in order to determine their usefulness as diagnostic markers for KS tumor progression/metastasis, and whether they would serve as a target(s) for a novel treatment strategy.
Our hypothesis is that downregulation of galectin-3, fibulin-2 and fibulin-5 contributes to KS pathogenesis and tumorigenesis, and that modulation of their expression in the tumor microenvironment could serve to either alter virus replication and/or reduce tumor angiogenesis, progression and metastasis. Thus reconstitution or over-expression of these genes in KS tissue and AIDS-associated pleural effusion lymphomas (PELs) could alter and/or reduce viral pathogenesis associated with KS and hence serve as molecular targets for therapeutic interventions.

Publications

  • Dual labeled Immunohistochemistry in Kaposi's Sarcoma. J. Vis. Exp ( in press ). 2010.
  • Ahsen R. Chaudhry, Knobel S.M., Ladson G. and Alcendor DJ.. Expression of fibulins in vaginal epithelium from women of diverse ethnicity: Implication for racial disparities in stress urinary incontinence ( to be submitted ). 2010.
  • Alcendor D.J., Zhu W.Q., and Desai P.. KSHV Downregulation of Fibulins in Kaposi's sarcoma: Implications for tumorigenesis ( to be submitted). 2010.
  • Marrs C.N., Zhu W.Q, Sweet S., Alcendor D.J.. Evidence for Gardnerella Vaginalis uptake and internalization by squamous vaginal epithelial cells: Implications for the phathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis ( in revision ). 2010.
  • Alcendor D.J., Charest A. M, Knobel S.M., and Zhu WQ.. Infection and upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines in brain vascular by human cytomegalovirus ( in revision ). 2010.
  • Alcendor D.J., Knobel S. Desai P, Zhu W.Q., Vigil H.E., and Hayward G.S.. KSHV downregulation of galectin-3 in kaposi's sarcoma. Glycobiology. 2010; 20: 521-32.
  • Hayward, G.S, Alcendor DJ., and Boger RA. In Viral Oncology: Basic Science and Clinical Applications (Book). The Role of KSHV in Pathogenesis of Kaposis Sarcoma: Jeang KT and K.Kalili eds. 2010; Ver: 377-407.
  • Hildreth J.E.K., and Alcendor, D.. Mayo Clinic HIV eCurriculum Series: In Essentials of HIV medicine. Mayo Clinic Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2009; 1-20.
  • Alcendor D.J., Zong J.C., Dolan A., Davidson A., and Hayward G.S.. Patterns of divergence in the rapidly evolving vCXC and vGPCR gene clusters in primate cytomegalovirus genomes. Virology. 2009; 365: 21-32.
  • Alcendor, D. J, and Hayward G. S.. "Cytomegalovirus (Herpesviridae) Simian Cytomegaloviruses ". In Encyclopedia of Virology. 2008; 3rd ed.
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