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Br J Dermatol. 2009 Oct;161(4):930-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09221.x. Epub 2009 May 12.

Detection of Merkel cell polyomavirus DNA in Merkel cell carcinomas.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology and Allergology, University of Szeged, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary. vargerik@mail.derma.szote.u-szeged.hu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive tumour for which an increasing incidence has been reported. A new human polyomavirus, Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV), was recently isolated from these tumours by applying digital transcriptome subtraction methodology.

OBJECTIVES:

To detect the presence or absence of MCV in MCCs and other, randomly selected neoplasms.

METHODS:

Nine primary or recurrent MCCs from seven patients were examined; 29 other tumours (squamous cell, basal cell and basosquamous carcinomas and malignant melanomas) were examined for comparative purposes. Viral large T protein (LT1 and LT3), and viral capsid protein (VP1) were detected by primer-directed amplification, using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method, and the amplified PCR products were analysed by agarose gel electrophoresis and subsequent sequence analysis.

RESULTS:

The presence of viral T antigen and/or viral capsid DNA sequences was demonstrated in seven of the eight MCC lesions. None of the comparative samples contained MCV DNA.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings strongly support the hypothesis that MCV infection may well be specific for MCC, and MCV may play a role in the pathogenesis of MCC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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