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Oncogene. 2004 Sep 16;23(42):7031-46.

Detection and expression of human BK virus sequences in neoplastic prostate tissues.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0942, USA.


BK virus (BKV) is ubiquitous in the human population and establishes a lifelong, subclinical persistent infection in the urinary tract. When the immune system is compromised, it can cause severe disease in the kidney and bladder. Detection of BKV sequences in urinary tract neoplasms has led to the postulate that this virus may induce human oncogenesis through the function of its large tumor antigen (TAg). In this study, examination of prostate tumor tissue sections using in situ hybridization shows the presence of BKV sequences in atrophic epithelium. Solution polymerase chain reaction on DNA extracted from the tissues and sequence analysis of the products reveal the presence of BKV regulatory and early region sequences. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis using monoclonal antibodies specific to TAg or p53 shows the expression of TAg in some of the samples and p53 staining that can be correlated to TAg expression. Although the normal cellular localization of TAg and p53 is nuclear, double immunofluorescence labeling with anti-p53 and TAg antibodies indicates colocalization of p53 and TAg to the cytoplasm in the glandular epithelial cells of the sections. Although BKV DNA was found in benign and atrophic lesions, TAg and p53 coexpression was observed only in atrophic lesions.

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