Overexpression of Ki-67 and Cyclins A and B1 in JC Virus-infected Cells of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy

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Both SV40 and JC virus (JCV) appropriate the host cell replicative machinery to attend to their own reproductive needs. SV40 large T antigen is able to induce the expression of cyclins A, Bl, and E (but not of cylin Dl) in transfected diploid cells. Whether JCV infection influences cyclin expression in a similar fashion in the setting of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) remains unknown. Brain lesions from 7 PML cases (4 autopsies and 3 biopsies) were immunohistochemically investigated for the expression of Ki-67 and cyclins A, Bl, and Dl. All 7 cases showed strong positivity for Ki-67 and cyclins A and B1 in JCV-infected oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, the nuclear immunolocalization of cyclin A being in strong contrast to the cytoplasmic distribution of cyclin Bl. No immunostaining for cyclin Dl was obtained in any of the 7 cases. These findings suggest that JCV infection is associated with overexpression of Ki-67 and cyclins A and B1 in PML host glial cells. Since cyclin changes in JCV-infected cells recapitulate SV40 T antigen-associated cyclin fluctuations, it appears reasonable to think that JCV T antigen shares some of the previously described capabilities of SV40 T antigen to alter cyclin expression for the sake of viral replication.

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