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Gene. 1994 Oct 21;148(2):309-14.

The role of a pentanucleotide repeat sequence, AGGGAAGGGA, in the regulation of JC virus DNA replication.

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Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107.


The human polyomavirus JCV differs from other papovaviruses in its narrow host range and tissue tropism for human glial cells. It is believed that the cell-specific tropism of JCV to glial cells rests, at least in part, in transcription of the viral early gene that encodes the large tumor antigen (T-antigen). The secondary stage, however, which restricts the replication cycle of JCV to primate cells, is controlled at the level of viral DNA replication. In this study, we demonstrate that a cis-acting transcription regulatory element encompassing the pentanucleotide repeat sequence AGGGAAGGGA (penta), which is located in close proximity to the origin of DNA replication, plays an important role in the replication of viral DNA mediated by the JCV T-antigen, but not T-antigen derived from SV40. Analysis of DNA structure by diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC) has revealed that mutations within the penta which affect DNA replication also alter the structure of the neighboring A+T-rich region. These results suggest that, in addition to the regulatory role in viral gene expression, the penta may function as a DNA structural element which is important for JCV DNA replication mediated by the JCV T-antigen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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