Rearrangement patterns of JC virus noncoding control region from different biological samples

Valeria Pietropaolo, M. Videtta, D. Fioriti, M. Mischitelli, A. Arancio, N. Orsi, A. M. Degener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The JC virus (JCV) is generally considered the etiological agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a demyelinating brain illness, often associated with immunosuppression and significantly frequent in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients. The primary infection by JCV is usually asymptomatic and the virus can remain in a latent status in the kidney. As a consequence of immunological alterations of the host, the virus can show a genetic variability in the noncoding control region (NCCR) due to deletions, duplications, and insertions as compared with the archetype. The NCCR of the archetype strain can be divided into six regions, named boxes A to F. In this study, the authors evaluated the presence of the JCV genome in different biological samples, such as urine, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). After sequencing of the PCR fragments, the NCCR structure of isolated JCV strains was analyzed in order to verify the presence of different viral variants. An analysis of the homology and of the multiple alignment of the obtained sequences in comparison with the archetype strain has been carried out. The results indicated the presence of different rearrangements among the analyzed samples. Whereas in the urine, the NCCR structure always appeared very similar to that of the archetype, in the PBMCs and CSF, the NCCR sequences showed specific and characteristic rearrangements as compared to the archetype. These different rearrangements could be correlated with the emerging of an NCCR organization more suitable for the development of PML.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-611
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


  • JCV
  • NCCR
  • Nucleotide sequence
  • Rearrangement patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Clinical Neurology


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