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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003 Dec 17;95(24):1846-59.

Interaction of retroviral Tax oncoproteins with tristetraprolin and regulation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression.

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1
Biologie cellulaire et moléculaire, Faculté Universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques, Gembloux, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Tax oncoproteins are transcriptional regulators of viral expression involved in pathogenesis induced by complex leukemogenic retroviruses (or delta-retroviruses, i.e., primate T-cell leukemia viruses and bovine leukemia virus). To better understand the molecular pathways leading to cell transformation, we aimed to identify cellular proteins interacting with Tax.

METHODS:

We used a yeast two-hybrid system to identify interacting cellular proteins. Interactions between Tax and candidate interacting cellular proteins were confirmed by glutathione S-transferase (GST) pulldown assays, co-immunoprecipitation, and confocal microscopy. Functional interactions between Tax and one interacting protein, tristetraprolin (TTP), were assessed by analyzing the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which is regulated by TTP, in mammalian cells (HeLa, D17, HEK 293, and RAW 264.7) transiently transfected with combinations of intact and mutant Tax and TTP.

RESULTS:

We obtained seven interacting cellular proteins, of which one, TTP, was further characterized. Tax and TTP were found to interact specifically through their respective carboxyl-terminal domains. The proteins colocalized in the cytoplasm in a region surrounding the nucleus of HeLa cells. Furthermore, coexpression of Tax was associated with nuclear accumulation of TTP. TTP is an immediate-early protein that inhibits expression of TNF-alpha at the post-transcriptional level. Expression of Tax reverted this inhibition, both in transient transfection experiments and in stably transfected macrophage cell lines.

CONCLUSION:

Tax, through its interactions with the TTP repressor, indirectly increases TNF-alpha expression. This observation is of importance for the cell transformation process induced by leukemogenic retroviruses, because TNF-alpha overexpression plays a central role in pathogenesis.

PMID:
14679154
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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