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PloS one

Activation of c-Myc and Cyclin D1 by JCV T-Antigen and β-catenin in colon cancer.


PMID 25229241

Abstract

During the last decade, mounting evidence has implicated the human neurotropic virus JC virus in the pathology of colon cancer. However, the mechanisms of JC virus-mediated oncogenesis are still not fully determined. One candidate to mediate these effects is the viral early transcriptional product T-Antigen, which has the ability to inactivate cell cycle regulatory proteins such as p53. In medulloblastomas, T-Antigen has been shown to bind the Wnt signaling pathway protein β-catenin; however, the effects of this interaction on downstream cell cycle regulatory proteins remain unknown. In light of these observations, we investigated the association of T-Antigen and nuclear β-catenin in colon cancer cases and the effects of this complex in the activation of the transcription and cell cycle regulators c-Myc and Cyclin D1 in vitro. Gene amplification demonstrated the presence of viral sequences in 82.4% of cases and we detected expression of T-Antigen in 64.6% of cases by immunohistochemistry. Further, we found that T-Antigen and β-catenin co-localized in the nuclei of tumor cells and we confirmed the physical binding between these two proteins in vitro. The nuclear presence of T-Antigen and β-catenin resulted in the significant enhancement of TCF-dependent promoter activity and activation of the β-catenin downstream targets, c-Myc and Cyclin D1. These observations provide further evidence for a role of JCV T-Antigen in the dysregulation of the Wnt signaling pathway and in the pathogenesis of colon cancer.