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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Feb 14, 1995; 92(4): 1057–1061.

Development of leukemia in mice transgenic for the tax gene of human T-cell leukemia virus type I.


The human T-cell leukemia virus type I Tax protein trans-activates several cellular genes implicated in T-cell replication and activation. To investigate its leukemogenic potential, Tax was targeted to the mature T-lymphocyte compartment in transgenic mice by using the human granzyme B promoter. These mice developed large granular lymphocytic leukemia, demonstrating that expression of Tax in the lymphocyte compartment is sufficient for the development of leukemia. Furthermore, these observations suggest that human T-cell leukemia virus infection may be involved in the development of large granular lymphocytic leukemia.

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