JC virus (JCV) causes the central demyelinating disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). JCV strains excreted in the urine are distinguishable from those in PML tissue by the configuration of their regulatory region to the right of ori: the archetypal regulatory region, 267 nucleotides long, is rearranged in PML tissue by deletion and duplication. Within the coding region JCV shows variations as a result of virus evolution. Four major genotypes are distinguishable of which Type 1 is based in Europe and Type 2 in Asia. Here, the regulatory region rearrangements and the viral genotypes of 29 JCV strains from PML brain were determined. Rearrangement patterns and genotypes were not associated. In general, deletions occurred before duplications, but exceptions to this rule exist. Each configuration of the 29 rearranged regulatory regions was unique and could be derived directly from the non-rearranged, archetypal form.


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