Presence and incidence of DNA sequences of human polyomaviruses BKV and JCV in colorectal tumor tissues

B. Casini, L. Borgese, F. Del Nonno, G. Galati, L. Izzo, M. Caputo, R. Perrone Donnorso, M. Castelli, Gianfranco Risuleo, P. Visca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human polyomaviruses JCV and BKV are widespread within population, as shown by serological studies. However, exposure to these viruses does not seem to have pathological consequences in immunocompetent individuals, while in immunocompromised or immunosuppressed patients, polyomaviruses can be activated, giving rise to serious pathologies. Viral DNA sequences were also found in cells from a number of human tumors of mesothelial origin, suggesting that activation of BKV and JCV, taking place in genetically predisposed and/or in immunodepressed individuals, might be involved in the mechanisms of tumor transformation. In this study, samples obtained from 18 patients with colon rectal carcinoma were probed for the presence of JCV and BKV by three different techniques: Southern blot, PCR and in situ hybridization. Our results demonstrate that viral DNA sequences were present in 16 out of the 18 cases considered (88.9%). In the large majority of cases, viruses were detected both in the tumor mass and in the surrounding healthy tissues. Lymphocytes in the investigated areas were also found to be infected by polyomaviruses. These data indicate, for the first time, a possible involvement of polyomaviruses in the pathogenesis of tumors of endothelial origin, like the human colon rectal carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1085
Number of pages7
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number2 A
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • BKV
  • Colon rectal tumors
  • DNA sequences
  • JCV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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