XMRV and prostate cancer--a 'final' perspective.
ABSTRACT XMRV was first described in 2006, when it was identified in samples isolated from prostate cancer tissues. However, studies have since shown that XMRV arose in the laboratory and was formed by genetic recombination between two viral genomes carried in the germline DNA of mice used during serial transplantation of the CWR22 prostate cancer xenograft. These new findings strongly imply that XMRV does not circulate in humans, but is only present in the laboratory. Thus, there is no reason to believe that it has any role in the etiology of prostate cancer or other diseases.
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ABSTRACT: The retrovirus XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) has been detected in human prostate tumors and in blood samples from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, but these findings have not been replicated. We hypothesized that an understanding of when and how XMRV first arose might help explain the discrepant results. We studied human prostate cancer cell lines CWR22Rv1 and CWR-R1, which produce XMRV virtually identical to the viruses recently found in patient samples, as well as their progenitor human prostate tumor xenograft (CWR22) that had been passaged in mice. We detected XMRV infection in the two cell lines and in the later passage xenografts, but not in the early passages. In particular, we found that the host mice contained two proviruses, PreXMRV-1 and PreXMRV-2, which share 99.92% identity with XMRV over >3.2-kilobase stretches of their genomes. We conclude that XMRV was not present in the original CWR22 tumor but was generated by recombination of two proviruses during tumor passaging in mice. The probability that an identical recombinant was generated independently is negligible (~10(-12)); our results suggest that the association of XMRV with human disease is due to contamination of human samples with virus originating from this recombination event.Science 06/2011; 333(6038):97-101. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although prostate cancer is the most common non-cutaneous malignancy diagnosed in men in the United States, little is known about inherited factors that influence its genetic predisposition. Here we report that germline mutations in the gene encoding 2'-5'-oligoadenylate(2-5A)-dependent RNase L (RNASEL) segregate in prostate cancer families that show linkage to the HPC1 (hereditary prostate cancer 1) region at 1q24-25 (ref. 9). We identified RNASEL by a positional cloning/candidate gene method, and show that a nonsense mutation and a mutation in an initiation codon of RNASEL segregate independently in two HPC1-linked families. Inactive RNASEL alleles are present at a low frequency in the general population. RNASEL regulates cell proliferation and apoptosis through the interferon-regulated 2-5A pathway and has been suggested to be a candidate tumor suppressor gene. We found that microdissected tumors with a germline mutation showed loss of heterozygosity and loss of RNase L protein, and that RNASEL activity was reduced in lymphoblasts from heterozyogous individuals compared with family members who were homozygous with respect to the wildtype allele. Thus, germline mutations in RNASEL may be of diagnostic value, and the 2-5A pathway might provide opportunities for developing therapies for those with prostate cancer.Nature Genetics 03/2002; 30(2):181-4. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Retroviruses are an important group of pathogens that cause a variety of diseases in humans and animals. Four human retroviruses are currently known, including human immunodeficiency virus type 1, which causes AIDS, and human T-lymphotropic virus type 1, which causes cancer and inflammatory disease. For many years, there have been sporadic reports of additional human retroviral infections, particularly in cancer and other chronic diseases. Unfortunately, many of these putative viruses remain unproven and controversial, and some retrovirologists have dismissed them as merely "human rumor viruses." Work in this field was last reviewed in depth in 1984, and since then, the molecular techniques available for identifying and characterizing retroviruses have improved enormously in sensitivity. The advent of PCR in particular has dramatically enhanced our ability to detect novel viral sequences in human tissues. However, DNA amplification techniques have also increased the potential for false-positive detection due to contamination. In addition, the presence of many families of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) within our DNA can obstruct attempts to identify and validate novel human retroviruses. Here, we aim to bring together the data on "novel" retroviral infections in humans by critically examining the evidence for those putative viruses that have been linked with disease and the likelihood that they represent genuine human infections. We provide a background to the field and a discussion of potential confounding factors along with some technical guidelines. In addition, some of the difficulties associated with obtaining formal proof of causation for common or ubiquitous agents such as HERVs are discussed.Microbiology and molecular biology reviews: MMBR 04/2008; 72(1):157-96, table of contents. · 12.59 Impact Factor