Simian virus 40 and human cancer. - GreenMedInfo Summary

Abstract Title:

Simian virus 40 and human cancer.

Abstract Source:

Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 1998 Apr ;53(2):198-201. PMID: 9689809

Abstract Author(s):

L Mutti, M Carbone, G G Giordano, A Giordano

Article Affiliation:

L Mutti


Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) oncoviruses can induce neoplastic transformation by interfering with proliferative proteins. Simian virus 40 (SV40) has been shown to induce brain tumors, osteosarcoma, lymphoid tumors and malignant mesothelioma in hamsters and SV40-like DNA sequences corresponding to the Rb-pocket binding domain of SV40 T-antigen (Tag) have been detected in the same human tumors. Since only a small percentage of people exposed to asbestos fibers develop a malignant mesothelioma, SV40 has been suspected to co-operate with the fibers in the neoplastic transformation or even to itself induce the onset of malignant mesothelioma in patients without expositive history. The mechanism that seems to be involved in the SV40-induced carcinogenesis process is mediated by interaction of Tag, both with p53 and Rb proteins, leading to their functional inactivation that is responsible for the removal of their inhibitory cell cycle effect which determines the increase of the number of cells entering the G1-S phase. Up to now the source of SV40 human infections has not yet been completely identified even though administration from 1957-1965 of SV40 contaminated polio vaccines is highly suspected. Horizontal infection by sexual transmission has been also hypothesized. Due to the important public health implications further investigations are required in order to establish both the source and the carcinogenetic role of simian virus 40 in humans.

Study Type : Review

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