JC virus DNA is present in the mucosa of the human colon and in colorectal cancers

Luigi Laghi, Ann E. Randolph, D. P. Chauhan, Giancarlo Marra, Eugene O. Major, James V. Neel, C. Richard Boland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


JC virus (JCV) is a polyoma virus that commonly infects humans. We have found T antigen DNA sequences of JCV in the mucosa of normal human colons, colorectal cancers, colorectal cancer xenografts raised in nude mice, and in the human colon cancer cell line SW480. A larger number of viral copies is present in cancer cells than in non-neoplastic colon cells, and sequence microheterogeneity occurs within individual colonic mucosal specimens. The improved yield of detection after treatment with topoisomerase I suggests that the viral DNA is negatively supercoiled in the human tissues. These results indicate that JCV DNA can be found in colonic tissues, which raises the possibility that this virus may play a role in the chromosomal instability observed in colorectal carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7484-7489
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jun 22 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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