We have recently demonstrated the association of SV40 and human pleural malignant mesothelioma. Here, we have investigated whether SV40 viral sequences may be associated with other human tumours or other non-neoplastic pathology and whether SV40 DNA or protein expression may be of diagnostic, prognostic or therapeutic relevance. DNA was extracted from paraffin embedded tissues. SV40, JC and BK viral sequences were detected by the polymerase chain reaction and molecular hybridization with specific probes. The screening with three different sets of SV40-related primers demonstrated that 7/18 (38.8%) mesothelioma specimens were SV40 positive as well as 5/18 (27.7%) tubercular pleural lesions. None of the 18 lung cancers, nor the 20 pleural non-specific inflammatory specimens tested were positive. Twenty-five blood samples and 18 urinary sediments from MM patients were also negative. We have also found that SV40 Tag proteins are present in mesothelioma cells and tumours. Tag proteins may interfere with tumour suppressor gene products, such as p53. Preliminary results suggest that wild type p53 transgene expression, obtained after infection with recombinant adenovirus (AdCMV.p53), inhibited in vitro and in vivo proliferation, inducing apoptosis of mesothelioma cells. Infections with control viruses were ineffective. Thus, SV40 DNA and Tag expression in mesothelioma tumour cells, though probably not relevant for diagnostic or prognostic purposes, may be crucial for innovative gene therapy strategies.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Developments in Biological Standardization|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
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