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J Gen Virol. 2015 Aug;96(8):2293-303. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.000181. Epub 2015 May 12.

Early and late promoters of BK polyomavirus, Merkel cell polyomavirus, Trichodysplasia spinulosa-associated polyomavirus and human polyomavirus 12 are among the strongest of all known human polyomaviruses in 10 different cell lines.

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1​ Faculty of Health Sciences, Institute of Medical Biology, University of Tromsø, Norway.
2​ Department of Medical Genetics, University Hospital of North Norway, Norway 3​ Faculty of Health Sciences, Institute of Clinical Biology, University of Tromsø, Norway.
4​ Division 12 Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Viruses Affecting Immunocompromised Patients, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.


Recently, 11 new human polyomaviruses (HPyVs) have been isolated and named KI, WU, Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV), HPyV6,  -7,  -9,  -10 and  -12, Trichodysplasia spinulosa-associated polyomavirus (TSPyV), STLPyV and NJPyV-2013. Little is known about cell tropism of the novel HPyVs, and cell cultures allowing virus propagation are lacking. Because viral tropism partially depends on the interaction of cellular transcription factors with the viral promoter, we monitored the promoter activity of all known HPyVs. Therefore, we compared the relative early and late promoter activity of the BK polyomavirus (BKPyV) (WW strain) with the corresponding activities of the other HPyVs in 10 different cell lines derived from brain, colon, kidney, liver, lung, the oral cavity and skin. Our results show that the BKPyV, MCPyV, TSPyV and HPyV12 early promoters displayed the strongest activity in most cell lines tested, while the remaining HPyV had relative low early promoter activity. HPyV12 showed the highest late promoter activity of all HPyVs in most cell lines, but also the BKPyV, MCPyV and TSPyV late promoters belonged to the stronger ones among HPyVs. The HPyVs with weak early promoter activity had in general also weak late promoter activity, except for HPyV10 whose late promoter was relatively strong in six of the 10 cell lines. A 20 bp deletion in the promoter of an HPyV12 variant significantly affected both early and late promoter activity in most cell lines. In conclusion, our findings suggest which cell lines may be suitable for virus propagation and may give an indication of the cell tropism of the HPyVs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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