Medulloblastomas and primitive neuroectodermal tumors rarely contain polyomavirus DNA sequences

John Y.H. Kim, Igor J. Koralnik, Mark LeFave, Rosalind A. Segal, Luz Andrea Pfister, Scott L. Pomeroy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


To address the hypothesis that medulloblastoma or supra-tentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (sPNET) can arise through infection by polyomaviruses, we examined genomic DNA isolated from 15 primary medulloblastoma and 5 sPNET biopsy specimens and from 2 medulloblastoma cell lines for the presence of DNA sequences from the polyomaviruses simian virus 40 (SV40), JC virus, and BK virus. These polyomaviruses have oncogenic potential in animals, and their DNA sequences have been detected in other surveys of various solid tumors, including childhood brain tumors. The tumor DNA samples were analyzed by Southern blot hybridization of polymerase chain reaction products that employed probes designed to detect specific polyomavirus sequences. Neither JC virus nor BK virus DNA sequences were detected in any of the specimens. None of the primary medulloblastoma or sPNET specimens contained SV40 sequences. However, SV40 DNA coding and noncoding sequences were detected in the D283-Med (medulloblastoma) cell line. Immunocytochemical studies of D283-Med revealed nuclear expression of SV40 large T antigen. In contrast to childhood ependymomas and choroid plexus tumors, medulloblastomas and sPNETs infrequently express evidence of polyomavirus infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-170
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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