The presence of JC virus in gastric carcinomas correlates with patient's age, intestinal histological type and aberrant methylation of tumor suppressor genes.
ABSTRACT JC virus (JCV) is a neurotropic polyomavirus and the causative agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. A role for JCV in gastrointestinal malignancies has been recently suggested. This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of polyomaviruses including JCV, BKV and SV40 in gastric cancers in Tunisia and to determine the clinicopathological characteristics of virus-associated gastric carcinomas. The presence of polyomaviruses DNA sequences was surveyed in 61 cases of primary gastric carcinomas and in 53 paired non-tumor gastric mucosa by PCR. Findings were correlated to clinicopathological parameters, p53 expression and methylation status of 11 tumor-related genes. Using PCR assays, JCV T-antigen sequence was more frequently detected in gastric carcinomas than in non-tumor gastric mucosa (26 vs 6%, P=0.03), while those of SV40 and BKV were not detected in any cases. Correlation analysis showed that JCV had higher frequency in patients older than 55 years (P=0.034) and in the intestinal histological type (P=0.04). With regard to methylation status, P16 and P14 showed significantly higher methylation frequencies in JCV-positive gastric carcinomas than in JCV-negative cases (P=0.007 and P=0.003, respectively). Moreover, the mean of the methylation index was significantly higher in JCV-positive than in JCV-negative cases (P=0.024). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, age of patients and the methylation index are only the two independent factors associated with JCV infection. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a trend toward better survival for JCV-associated gastric carcinomas patients (log-rank, P=0.11). Our study suggests a role of JCV as cofactor in the pathogenesis of the intestinal type of gastric carcinomas in older persons.
Article: Viral genes and methylation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Epigenetics represents a new frontier in cancer research. Methylation is the best studied of the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression. Regulation of gene expression by means of methylation has been reported for tumor suppressor genes, oncogenes, viral promoters, and age-related genes. In this review, the regulation of viral gene expression by methylation is discussed, with particular emphasis on: (1) the virus-specific factors that bind to promoter regions; (2) the implications of this knowledge for designing viral vectors that can be used to deliver genes for the purpose of gene therapy; and (3) the use of this knowledge for the early detection and prevention of cancer. Since methylation can be reversed by a variety of exogenous agents, great potential exists to develop interventions that target cancer-associated aberrant methylation in an effort to reverse or prevent carcinogenesis.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 04/2003; 983:170-80. · 4.38 Impact Factor
- Gut 10/2005; 54(9):1321-31. · 10.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated gastric carcinoma (EBVaGC) is a unique type of gastric carcinoma (GC), which is considered to develop in a different pathway from EBV-negative GC. To evaluate a possible role of p16, an inhibitor of G1/S transition of the cell cycle, in the carcinogenesis of EBVaGC, p16-immunohistochemistry and methylation-specific PCR analysis (MSP) were applied to surgically resected gastric carcinomas. When the percentage of p16-positive cells in more than 1000 carcinoma cells was expressed as p16 labeling index (p16-LI), it ranged from 2.5 to 88.1 (mean 42.9+/-24.4) in 70 gastric carcinomas. EBVaGC showed significantly lower values (n=15, 26.1+/ -22.1) than EBV-negative GC (n=55, 47.5+/-23.2) (P=0.0036). Fresh frozen tissues of 55 gastric carcinomas (16 EBVaGC and 39 EBV-negative GC) were further subjected to MSP, to evaluate abnormal methylation of the promoter region of the p16 gene. The frequency of methylation was significantly higher in EBVaGC (14/16) than in EBV-negative GC (9/39) (<0.0001). The methylation-positive carcinomas showed significantly lower p16-LI (35.9+/-21.6) than the unmethylated ones (55.2+/-22.7) (P=0.0014). Thus, a marked decrease of p16 expression, caused by the aberrant methylation of the p16 gene promoter, is closely associated with the development of EBVaGC.Japanese journal of cancer research: Gann 12/2002; 93(11):1195-200.