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Virology. 2004 Jun 1;323(2):182-8.

BKV and SV40 infection of human kidney tubular epithelial cells in vitro.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


The interaction of BKV with its natural target cells, human kidney epithelial cells, has not been studied. In vitro infections of human primary kidney epithelial cells were performed to investigate a BKV infection in its natural host cell. BKV undergoes a lytic replication cycle in this system: high levels of T antigen expression were first detected at 36 h postinfection, while viral DNA replication, capsid protein expression, and progeny virus were observed at 48 h postinfection. It was observed that the related polyomavirus SV40 is incapable of infecting human kidney epithelium except in the presence of the GM1 ganglioside, recently reported to be an SV40 receptor.

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