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Curr Opin Virol. 2015 Apr;11:38-43. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2015.01.009. Epub 2015 Feb 11.

Large T and small T antigens of Merkel cell polyomavirus.

Author information

1
Cancer Virology Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Suite 1.8, 5117 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States.
2
Cancer Virology Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Suite 1.8, 5117 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States. Electronic address: psm9@pitt.edu.
3
Cancer Virology Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Suite 1.8, 5117 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States. Electronic address: yc70@pitt.edu.

Abstract

Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) is the etiological agent of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare and highly lethal human skin cancer. A natural component of skin flora, MCV becomes tumorigenic only after integration into the host DNA together with specific mutations to the viral genome. Research on MCV large T (LT) and small T (sT) antigens, the only viral products expressed in MCC, shows that these major oncoproteins not only possess biochemical functions found in common with other polyomavirus T antigens, but also demonstrate new cellular targets not described in previous polyomavirus models. This review provides a map of the relevant functional motifs and domains in MCV T antigens that have been identified, highlighting their roles in tumorigenesis.

PMID:
25681708
PMCID:
PMC4456251
DOI:
10.1016/j.coviro.2015.01.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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