Detection of archetype and rearranged variants of JC virus in multiple tissues from a pediatric PML patient

Jason T. Newman, Richard J. Frisque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


JC virus (JCV) establishes persistent infections in its human host, and in some immunocompromised individuals, the virus causes the fatal brain disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Two forms of the virus, archetype and rearranged, have been isolated, with the latter being derived from the archetype form by deletion and duplication of sequences within the viral transcriptional control region (TCR). We have used the PCR technique to amplify JCV TCR sequences present within multiple tissues of a pediatric PML patient and have cloned and sequenced the PCR products. Archetype JCV was readily detected in kidney tissue; this form of JCV was also identified for the first time in brain and lymph node tissue by employing archetype-specific PCR primers. In addition, several archetype- like variants containing small deletions within their regulatory regions were isolated from cardiac muscle and lung. Different, but related rearranged forms were detected in most of the tissues examined. Each of the rearranged TCRs lacked portions of a 66 base pair (bp) region found within the archetype promoter-enhancer but retained a 23 bp region that is deleted in the prototype (Mad 1) rearranged form of JCV. Although several rearranged forms of JCV were identified in this patient, the TCRs could be assigned to one of two groups based upon the deletion boundaries generated during the adaptation from archetype to rearranged JCV. This study is the first to characterize multiple JCV variants present in different tissues from a patient likely to have succumbed to PML during a primary infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-252
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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