The biological activities of simian virus 40 large-T antigen and its possible oncogenic effects in humans.
Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 1998 Apr ;53(2):193-7. PMID: 9689808
C M Matker
Simian virus 40 (SV40) is an oncogenic virus which induces tumors in hamsters and transforms human cells in tissue culture. Between 1955 and 1963, polio vaccines and adenovaccines were contaminated with SV40; therefore, millions of people were exposed to this oncogenic virus. The SV40 proteins responsible for in vivo oncogenesis and in vitro cell transformation are encoded by the early region of the virus. These proteins are called T (tumor) antigens (Tags), because animals with tumors induced by SV40 have antibodies against these viral proteins. Recently, we and other research laboratories have found SV40 in specific types of human tumors: mesothelioma, ependymoma and choroid plexus tumors, osteosarcoma and sarcoma. The same tumor types will develop in hamsters which have been injected systemically with SV40. SV40 causes cell transformation in tissue culture and tumors in animals, because SV40 Tag binds and inactivates the cellular tumor suppressor gene products, Rb and p53. We found that SV40 Tag binds p53 and Rb in human mesotheliomas, possibly contributing to the malignant phenotype.