JC virus-iLOV fluorescent strains enable the detection of early and late viral protein expression

Xin Dang, Spyridon Chalkias, Igor J. Koralnik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


JC virus (JCV) is highly prevalent in humans, and may cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), JCV granule cell neuronopathy (JCV GCN), JCV encephalopathy (JCVE) and JCV meningitis (JCVM) in immunocompromised individuals. There is no treatment for JCV, and a growing number of multiple sclerosis patients treated with immunomodulatory medications have developed PML. Antiviral agents against JCV are therefore highly desirable but remain elusive, due to the difficulty of determining their effect in vitro. A JCV strain carrying a fluorescent protein gene would greatly simplify and accelerate the drug screening process. To achieve this goal, we selected the 366. bp improved Light, Oxygen or Voltage-sensing domain (iLOV) of plant phototropin gene and created two full-length JCV-iLOV constructs on the prototype JCV Mad1 backbone. The iLOV gene was inserted either before the early regulatory T gene (iLOV-T), or after the late Agno gene (iLOV-Agno). Both JCV iLOV strains were replication-competent in vitro and emitted a fluorescent signal detectable by confocal microscope, but JCV iLOV-T exhibited higher cellular and supernatant viral loads compared to JCV iLOV-Agno. JCV iLOV-T could also produce infectious pseudovirions. These data suggest that JCV iLOV constructs may become valuable tools for anti-JCV drug screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Drug screening
  • JC virus
  • PML
  • Therapy
  • iLOV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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