Evidence for a Mechanism of Demyelination by Hurnavl JC Virus: Negative Transcriptional Regulation of RNA and Protein Levels From Myelin Basic Protein Gene by Large Tumor Antigen in Human Glioblastoma Cells

Evidence for a Mechanism of Demyelination by Hurnavl JC Virus: Negative Transcriptional Regulation of RNA and Protein Levels From Myelin Basic Protein Gene by Large Tumor Antigen in Human Glioblastoma Cells

Evidence for a Mechanism of Demyelination by Hurnavl JC Virus: Negative Transcriptional Regulation of RNA and Protein Levels From Myelin Basic Protein Gene by Large Tumor Antigen in Human Glioblastoma Cells

Abstract

Human JC virus (JCV) is a neurotropic human polyomavirus that was found in the plaques and oligodendroglial cells of the brains of patients with the fatal demyelinating disease, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Transgenic mice expressing JCV large tumor (T)-antigen from integrated DNA showed dysmyelination in the central nervous system. However, the role of T-antigen from episomal DNA in the demyelination in PML remains unclear. In this report, we examined the effect of episomally expressed JCV T-antigen on the expression of myelin basic protein (MBP) in U-87 MG human glioblastoma cells to study the mechanism of demyelination. Expression assays of the MBP promoter in U-87 MG detected a 2.5-fold reduction in cells expressing intact T-antigen. Next, U-87 MG expressing T-antigen were examined by RNase protection assays for mRNA accumulation from the endogenous MBP promoter. Also, the expression of the MBP promoter plasmid was determined using in vitro transcription assays with extracts from T-antigen expressing cells. Both assays found a similar down-regulation of the MBP promoter by T-antigen, confirming thatnegative regulation occurred at the transcriptional level for the endogenous and exogenous MBP promoters. Furthermore, in situ immunofluorescence assays and quantitative Western blot analysis provided convincing evidence of a similar reduction in the level of MBP produced from the functional endogenous gene in U-87 MG glioblastoma cells expressing T-antigen. Thus, we provide evidence for the role of T-antigen in a transcriptional controlmechanism for the demyelination that is caused by JCV in PML patients.

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