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Blood. 2007 Feb 1;109(3):1051-60. Epub 2006 Sep 21.

Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 Tax oncoprotein regulates G-protein signaling.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Gembloux, Belgium.


Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is associated with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and neurological syndromes. HTLV-1 encodes the oncoprotein Tax-1, which modulates viral and cellular gene expression leading to T-cell transformation. Guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute the largest family of membrane proteins known and are involved in the regulation of most biological functions. Here, we report an interaction between HTLV-1 Tax oncoprotein and the G-protein beta subunit. Interestingly, though the G-protein beta subunit inhibits Tax-mediated viral transcription, Tax-1 perturbs G-protein beta subcellular localization. Functional evidence for these observations was obtained using conditional Tax-1-expressing transformed T-lymphocytes, where Tax expression correlated with activation of the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis. Our data indicated that HTLV-1 developed a strategy based on the activation of the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis in the infected cell; this could have tremendous implications for new therapeutic strategies.

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