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Group Ka-Wei Tang

Research summary

The majority of adults in the world are infected by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Following a primary infection during childhood or adolescence, EBV remains latent in our B-lymphocytes for the rest of our lives. For most of us this latent infection will go unnoticed. But for approximately 200,000 patients world-wide each year EBV-infection turns into a fatal disease in the form of hematological (post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disease, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Burkitt’s lymphoma) and epithelial malignancies (gastric adenocarcinoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma). However, no specific treatment is currently available for EBV-associated malignancies.
Recently it has been shown that EBV-associated gastric adenocarcinomas only express a single EBV-gene, RPMS1 (Tang KW et al. 2013). RPMS1 encodes a 4 kilobase-pair long non-coding RNA, and expression levels are in the top seven percent of all cellular genes expressed in gastric adenocarcinoma. Interestingly, despite being one of few putative targets for EBV-associated malignancies, this transcript has been completely neglected and the function is not yet known.
Our projects encompass clinical and molecular studies of the EBV-associated malignancies with particular focus on mutational landscapes and viral gene expression. We will use clinical samples from pre-malignant and malignant stages as well as cell lines. We will employ standard clinical assays and genetic manipulation techniques to affirm potential targets as clinically significant markers and important factors for proliferation.

Tools and Resources

We use a wide range of molecular and cell biological techniques including variations of massive parallel sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation. Our proximity to the clinical laboratory allows us to easily identify samples suitable for ex vivo translational studies.

Current group members

Ka-Wei Tang, MD, PhD
Joanna Said, PhD
Sofia Brunet, graduate student
Yarong Tian, graduate student

Selected publications

  1. Tang KW, Larsson E. Tumour virology in the era of high-throughput genomics. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2017 Oct 19;372(1732).
  2. Zhao Z*, Tang KW*, Muylaert I, Samuelsson T, Elias P. *contributed equally. CDK9 and SPT5 proteins are specifically required for expression of herpes simplex virus 1 replication-dependent late genes. J Biol Chem. 2017 Sep 15;292(37):15489-15500.
  3. Tang KW, Hellstrand K, Larsson E. Absence of cytomegalovirus in high-coverage DNA sequencing of human glioblastoma multiforme. Int J Cancer. 2015 Feb 15;136(4):977-81.
  4. Tang KW, Alaei-Mahabadi B, Samuelsson T, Lindh M, Larsson E. The landscape of viral expression and host gene fusion and adaptation in human cancer. Nat Commun. 2013;4:2513.

 

 

Page Manager: Ulrika Lantz Carlsson|Last update: 12/1/2017
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