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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Mar 1982; 79(6): 2031–2035.
PMCID: PMC346116

Isolation and characterization of retrovirus from cell lines of human adult T-cell leukemia and its implication in the disease.


A retrovirus (ATLV) was unequivocally demonstrated in human adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) cell lines by density (1.152-1.155 g/cm3) in a sucrose gradient, reverse transcriptase activity insensitive to actinomycin D, RNA labeled with [3H]uridine, and specific proteins with molecular weights of 11,000, 14,000, 17,000, 24,000, and 45,000. Furthermore, cDNA prepared by endogenous reaction with detergent-treated virions hybridized to 35S RNA containing poly(A), which was inducible by IdUrd treatment of a T-cell line derived from leukemic cells of the ATL, and the integrated form of ATLV proviral DNA was detected in T-cell lines derived from ATL. The ATLV proviral DNA was also detected in fresh peripheral lymphocytes from all five patients with ATL tested so far but not in those from healthy adults. On the other hand, ATLV protein of Mr 42,000 was found to be at least one of the ATL-associated antigen(s) that were previously detected in ATL-leukemic cells by all sera from patients with ATL. These findings on the close association of ATLV protein and proviral DNA with ATL are direct evidence for the possible involvement of the retrovirus ATLV in leukemogenesis of human ATL.

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