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Cancer Sci. 2013 Aug;104(8):983-8. doi: 10.1111/cas.12190. Epub 2013 Jun 17.

Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 non-structural proteins: Requirements for latent infection.

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Scientific Research Department, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA.


It has been more than 30 years since the discovery of human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), the first human retrovirus identified. Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 infects 15-20 million people worldwide causing two major diseases: adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis. Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 establishes several decades of latent infection, during which viral-host interaction determines disease segregation. This review highlights non-structural proteins that are encoded on the viral genome and manage latent infection. Latent infection is a key in HTLV pathology, so that effective inhibition of these proteins might lead to successful disease management.

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