Sequence analysis of the non-coding control region of John Cunningham virus isolates from patients with multiple sclerosis treated with natalizumab


Introduction. The John Cunningham virus (JCPyV) causes a fatal demyelinating disease of the central nervous system known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). In healthy people, the JCPyV non-coding control region (NCCR) is not rearranged, while NCCRs in immunocompromised patients are characterized by frequent rearrangements and can be associated with PML development. Therefore, patients treated with natalizumab, which decreases the migration of leukocytes and monocytes through the blood-brain barrier to inflammatory foci, are at increased risk of developing PML.
The purpose of the study was to analyze NCCR sequences of JCPyV isolates from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) treated with natalizumab.
Materials and methods. A total of 26 blood plasma samples and 8 cerebrospinal fluid samples were analyzed using nested PCR to study the JCPyV NCCR structure in Russian MS patients treated with natalizumab. The NCCRs present in the samples were cloned and sequenced by Sanger sequencing. All the JCPyV NCCR sequences were compared with the archetype sequence and mapped. The NCCR sequences were also examined for presence of putative transcription factor binding sites.
Results. A total of 48 NCCR sequences were found. The analysis showed that up to 55% of NCCRs were identified as rearranged NCCRs, while the other were archetype-like NCCRs. All the sequences can be divided into 6 types with one dominant rearrangement pattern. This rearranged NCCR was also found in a patient with the confirmed PML diagnosis and a poor prognosis. All the rearranged NCCRs were characterized by the presence of additional transcription factor binding sites.
Conclusion. The study has helped identify previously unknown NCCR patterns typical of MS patients treated with natalizumab in Russia, thus confirming the need for the further research on NCCR rearrangements in MS patients undergoing natalizumab treatment to gain better understanding of the origin of neurovirulent JCPyV variants.


Copyright (c) Tyumentseva M.A., Tyumentsev A.I., Zakharova M.N., Askarova L.S., Simaniv T.O., Piradov M.A., Akimkin V.G.

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