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Oncogene. 2002 Aug 15;21(36):5574-81.

Evidence for dysregulation of cell cycle by human polyomavirus, JCV, late auxiliary protein.

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Center for Neurovirology and Cancer Biology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, 1900 North 12th Street, 015-96, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, PA 19122, USA.


The late region of the human neurotropic JC virus encodes a 71 amino acid protein, named Agnoprotein, whose biological function remains elusive. Here we demonstrate that in the absence of other viral proteins, expression of Agnoprotein can inhibit cell growth by deregulating cell progression through the cell cycle stages. Cells with constitutive expression of Agnoprotein were largely accumulated at the G2/M stage and that decline in the activity of cyclins A and B is observed in these cells. Agnoprotein showed the ability to augment p21 promoter activity in transient transfection assay and a noticeable increase in the level of p21 is detected in cells continuously expressing Agnoprotein. Results from binding studies revealed the interaction of Agnoprotein with p53 through the N-terminal of the Agnoprotein spanning residues 1-36. Co-expression of p53 and Agnoprotein further stimulated transcription of the p21 promoter. Thus, the interaction of p53 and Agnoprotein can lead to a higher level of p21 expression and suppression of cell cycle progression during the cell cycle.

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