JC virus nucleotides 376-396 are critical for VP1 capsid protein expression

J Neurovirol. 2015 Dec;21(6):671-8. doi: 10.1007/s13365-014-0278-y. Epub 2014 Aug 21.


JC virus (JCV) infection of the brain can cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, JCV granule cell neuronopathy, and JCV encephalopathy (JCVE). JCVCPN, isolated from the brain of a patient with JCVE, is a naturally occurring strain of JCV with a 143-base pair deletion in the agnogene. Cell culture studies of JCVCPN have shown that the loss of these nucleotides in the agnogene results in impaired expression of VP1 and infectious virion production. To better understand the role of this DNA sequence in JCV replication, we generated a series of deletions in the agnogene on the backbone of a virus which has a mutated agnoprotein start codon preventing agnoprotein expression. We found that deletion of nucleotides 376-396 results in decreased levels of viral DNA replication and a lack of VP1 expression. These results indicate that these nucleotides play a crucial role in JCV replication.

Keywords: Agnogene; Agnoprotein; JC virus; VP1 expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • COS Cells
  • Capsid / metabolism
  • Capsid Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Capsid Proteins / genetics*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • DNA, Viral / genetics*
  • JC Virus / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transfection


  • Capsid Proteins
  • DNA, Viral