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Nat Med. 2004 Feb;10(2):197-201. Epub 2004 Jan 18.

HTLV-1-encoded p30II is a post-transcriptional negative regulator of viral replication.

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Animal Models and Retroviral Vaccines Section, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 41/D804, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus type 1 (HTLV-1) persists despite a vigorous virus-specific host immune response, and causes adult T-cell leukemia and lymphoma in approximately 2% of infected individuals. Here we report that HTLV-1 has evolved a genetic function to restrict its own replication by a novel post-transcriptional mechanism. The HTLV-1-encoded p30(II) is a nuclear-resident protein that binds to, and retains in the nucleus, the doubly spliced mRNA encoding the Tax and Rex proteins. Because Tex and Rex are positive regulators of viral gene expression, their inhibition by p30(II) reduces virion production. p30(II) inhibits virus expression by reducing Tax and Rex protein expression.

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