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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2004 Mar;128(3):275-8.

Stability of JC virus coding sequences in a case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in which the viral control region was rearranged markedly.

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Department of Urology, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.



It is generally accepted that JC virus variants in the brains of patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy are generated from archetypal strains through sequence rearrangement (deletion and duplication, or deletion alone) in the control region. This change is thought to occur during persistence of JC virus in patients.


The present study was performed to ascertain whether amino acid substitution in the viral proteins is involved in the generation and propagation of JCV variants with rearranged control regions.


Many complete JC DNA clones were established from brain tissues (cerebellum, occipital lobe, and brainstem) autopsied in a case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in which multiple distinct control sequences were detected. Control and coding sequences were determined and compared among the JC DNA clones.


Twenty-eight control-region and 20 coding sequences of JC virus were compared. Five rearranged control sequences were detected, but they could be classified into 3 groups that shared common structural features. Viral coding sequences were identical among clones with different control regions and among clones derived from different brain regions.


In the present case, nucleotide substitution in the viral coding regions (and resultant amino acid change in the viral proteins) was involved neither in the genesis of rearranged JC virus variants nor in the proliferation of demyelinated lesions in the brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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