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Viruses 2015, 7(4), 1871-1901; doi:10.3390/v7041871

The Role of Merkel Cell Polyomavirus and Other Human Polyomaviruses in Emerging Hallmarks of Cancer

University of Tromsø, Faculty of Health Sciences, Institute of Medical Biology, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Joanna Parish
Received: 13 March 2015 / Revised: 1 April 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tumour Viruses)
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Abstract

Polyomaviruses are non-enveloped, dsDNA viruses that are common in mammals, including humans. All polyomaviruses encode the large T-antigen and small t-antigen proteins that share conserved functional domains, comprising binding motifs for the tumor suppressors pRb and p53, and for protein phosphatase 2A, respectively. At present, 13 different human polyomaviruses are known, and for some of them their large T-antigen and small t-antigen have been shown to possess oncogenic properties in cell culture and animal models, while similar functions are assumed for the large T- and small t-antigen of other human polyomaviruses. However, so far the Merkel cell polyomavirus seems to be the only human polyomavirus associated with cancer. The large T- and small t-antigen exert their tumorigenic effects through classical hallmarks of cancer: inhibiting tumor suppressors, activating tumor promoters, preventing apoptosis, inducing angiogenesis and stimulating metastasis. This review elaborates on the putative roles of human polyomaviruses in some of the emerging hallmarks of cancer. The reciprocal interactions between human polyomaviruses and the immune system response are discussed, a plausible role of polyomavirus-encoded and polyomavirus-induced microRNA in cancer is described, and the effect of polyomaviruses on energy homeostasis and exosomes is explored. Therapeutic strategies against these emerging hallmarks of cancer are also suggested. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyomavirus; microRNA; inflammation; autophagy; glucose; therapy; exosomes polyomavirus; microRNA; inflammation; autophagy; glucose; therapy; exosomes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Moens, U.; Rasheed, K.; Abdulsalam, I.; Sveinbjørnsson, B. The Role of Merkel Cell Polyomavirus and Other Human Polyomaviruses in Emerging Hallmarks of Cancer. Viruses 2015, 7, 1871-1901.

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