The high incidence of JC virus infection in urothelial carcinoma tissue in Taiwan

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Human polyomaviruses, JC virus (JCV) and BK virus (BKV), usually remain latent in kidney and urothelial tissue after primary infection. Infection with human polyomavirus has still not been correlated conclusively with malignancy of kidney and urothelial tissue. The present study investigated further the possible relationship between JCV/BKV infection and urothelial carcinoma. Tissue samples were examined from 33 urothelial carcinomas and 5 renal cell carcinomas for JCV/BKV infection, using nested PCR with primers common to both JCV and BKV. The viral genotypes were further verified by endonuclease digestion and DNA sequencing following the PCR. In addition, immunohistochemistry and Western blotting were also performed to detect viral large tumor protein (LT) and the late capsid protein (VP1) in the tissue samples. The results from nested PCR showed that 90.1% (30/33) of the urothelial carcinomas samples and all of the renal cell carcinomas samples (5/5) were JCV DNA positive. Both archetypal and re-arranged JCV genotypes were detected. On the other hand, BKV DNA was detected in only one (3%) of the urothelial carcinoma tissue samples. The immunohistochemical results showed that 30% (10/33) of urothelial carcinoma tissues was stained positive for large tumor antigen (LT). However, the structural protein VP1 was not detectable in any of the tissue samples examined. The present study demonstrated that JCV is highly prevalent in urothelial carcinoma tissue as is the expression of large tumor antigen. Therefore, the findings support the hypothesis that JCV infection is associated with urothelial carcinoma. J. Med. Virol. 83:2191–2199, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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