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Annu Rev Immunol. 2001;19:475-96.

Multiple viral strategies of HTLV-1 for dysregulation of cell growth control.

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Banyu Tsukuba Research Institute, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 300-2611, Japan.


The human T cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus that causes adult T cell leukemia (ATL) and neurological disorder, the tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). The pathogenesis apparently results from the pleiotropic function of Tax protein, which is a key regulator of viral replication. Tax exerts (a) trans-activation and -repression of transcription of different sets of cellular genes through binding to groups of transcription factors and coactivators, (b) dysregulation of cell cycle through binding to inhibitors of CDK4/6, and (c) inhibition of some tumor suppressor proteins. These effects on a wide variety of cellular targets seem to cooperate in promoting cell proliferation. This is an effective viral strategy to amplify its proviral genome through replication of infected cells; ultimately it results in cell transformation and leukemogenesis.

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