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Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 285–297 | Cite as

Evolution of Human Polyomavirus JC: Implications for the Population History of Humans

  • Chie  Sugimoto
  • Masami  Hasegawa
  • Atsushi  Kato
  • Huai-Ying  Zheng
  • Hideki  Ebihara
  • Fumiaki  Taguchi
  • Tadaichi  Kitamura
  • Yoshiaki  Yogo
Article

Abstract

The polyomavirus JC virus (JCV), the etiological agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, is ubiquitous in the human population, infecting children asymptomatically, then persisting in the kidney. The main mode of transmission of JCV is from parents to children through long-term cohabitation. Twelve JCV subtypes that occupy unique domains in Europe, Africa, and Asia have been identified. Here, we attempted to elucidate the evolutionary relationships among JCV strains worldwide using the whole-genome approach with which a highly reliable phylogeny of JCV strains can be reconstructed. Sixty-five complete JCV DNA sequences, derived from various geographical regions and belonging to 11 of the 12 known subtypes, were subjected to phylogenetic analysis using three independent methods: the neighbor-joining, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood methods. The trees obtained with these methods consistently indicated that ancestral JCVs were divided into three superclusters, designated as Types A, B, and C. A split in Type A generated two subtypes, EU-a and -b, mainly containing European and Mediterranean strains. The first split in Type B generated Af2 (the major African subtype). Subsequent splits in Type B generated B1-c (a minor European subtype) and all seven Asian subtypes (B1-a, -b, -d, B2, MY, CY, and SC). Type C generated a single subtype (Af1), consisting of strains derived from western Africa. While the present findings provided a basis on which to classify JCV into types or subtypes, they have several implications for the divergence and migration of human populations.

Key words: JC virus (JCV) — Complete DNA sequences — JCV evolution — JCV types — Human populations — Population history 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chie  Sugimoto
    • 1
  • Masami  Hasegawa
    • 2
  • Atsushi  Kato
    • 3
  • Huai-Ying  Zheng
    • 1
  • Hideki  Ebihara
    • 4
  • Fumiaki  Taguchi
    • 4
  • Tadaichi  Kitamura
    • 3
  • Yoshiaki  Yogo
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Viral Infection, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, JapanJP
  2. 2.Department of Prediction and Control, The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, 4-6-7 Minamiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8569, JapanJP
  3. 3.Department of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, JapanJP
  4. 4.Department of Microbiology, School of Allied Health Sciences, Kitasato University, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Sagamihara, Sagamihara 228-8555, JapanJP

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