Extinction of JC virus tumor-antigen expression in glial cell-fibroblast hybrids

A. H. Beggs, R. J. Frisque, G. A. Scangos

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JC virus (JCV) is a ubiquitous human papovavirus that shares sequence and structural homology with simian virus 40 (SV40). In contrast to SV40, expression of JCV is restricted to a small number of cell types, including human fetal glial cells, uroepithelial cells, amnion cells, and some endothelial cells. To study the control of JCV early region expression, we made heterokaryons and stable hybrids between JCV-transformed hamster glial cells and mouse fibroblasts. Binucleate heterokaryons exhibited extinction of large tumor antigen expression in the hamster nuclei as assayed by indirect immunofluorescence. This extinction was both time and dose dependent: extinction reached maximal levels at 24-36 hr after fusion and was dependent on the ratio of glial cell to fibroblast nuclei in multinucleated heterokaryons. Extinction also was observed in stable hybrids between the glial cells and mouse Ltk- cells. Southern blot analysis showed that the extinguished hybrids contained viral sequences. Reexpression of large tumor antigen was observed in several subclones, suggesting that extinction was correlated with the loss of murine fibroblast chromosomes from these hybrids. The cis-acting region that mediates extinction resides within the viral regulatory region, which contains two 98-base-pair repeats that have enhancer activity. These data demonstrate that cellular factors that negatively regulate viral gene expression contribute to the restricted cell-type specificity of this virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7632-7636
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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