Natalizumab is effective against relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) but increases the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), which is caused by the activation of the JCV polyomavirus. SF2/ASF (splicing factor2/alternative splicing factor) is a potent cellular inhibitor of JCV replication and large T-antigen (T-Ag) expression. We reported that SF2/ASF levels in blood cells increase during the first year of natalizumab therapy and decrease thereafter, inversely related to T-Ag expression, and suggested a correlation with JCV reactivation. Here, we report SF2/ASF levels of longitudinal blood samples of two patients undergoing natalizumab therapy, who developed PML while monitored, in comparison to natalizumab-treated controls and to one-off PML samples. After 6 months of therapy, SF2/ASF levels of the two cases were reduced, instead of increased, and their overall SF2/ASF levels were lower than those from natalizumab controls. Since SF2/ASF inhibits JCV, its early reduction might have a role in subsequent PML. We are aware of the limitations of the study, but the uniqueness of serial blood samples collected before and after PML onset in natalizumab-treated patients must be stressed. If confirmed in other patients, SF2/ASF evaluation could be a new and early biomarker of natalizumab-associated PML risk, allowing an 18-24-month interval before PML onset (presently ~ 5 months), in which clinicians could evaluate other risk factors and change therapy.
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|Titolo:||Early reduction of the splicing factor2/alternative splicing factor: a cellular inhibitor of the JC polyomavirus in natalizumab-treated MS patients long before developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|