Tumor pathogenesis of human neurotropic JC virus in the CNS

J Neurovirol. 1998 Apr;4(2):175-81. doi: 10.3109/13550289809114517.


In the last several years, studies have reported the detection of sequences similar to the polyomavirus, Simian Virus 40 (SV40) in human tumors including choroid plexus papillomas and ependymomas. Taken together with well-established evidence that SV40, as well as the human polyomaviruses JC virus (JCV) and BK virus (BKV), are oncogenic in several animal models, new interest has resurfaced regarding a possible role for these viruses in human tumors. In particular, a strong case can be made for re-evaluating the oncogenic potential of JCV in a neurotropic polyomavirus which is the causative agent of the fatal human demyelinating disease, Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML). In this review, we discuss the transforming capability of JCV in vitro, JCV's ability to induce neural origin tumors in non-human primates as well as in rodents, and several case reports which suggest a possible role for JCV in tumor pathogenesis in the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Brain Neoplasms / virology*
  • Humans
  • JC Virus / pathogenicity*
  • Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal / complications
  • Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal / virology