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Neoplasia. 2013 Sep;15(9):1110-24.

Human T cell leukemia virus type I tax-induced IκB-ζ modulates tax-dependent and tax-independent gene expression in T cells.

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Department of Microbiology and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan ; Transdisciplinary Research Organization for Subtropics and Island Studies, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan.


Human T cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) is the etiologic agent of adult T cell leukemia (ATL) and various inflammatory disorders including HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis. HTLV-I oncoprotein Tax is known to cause permanent activation of many cellular transcription factors including nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate response element-binding protein, and activator protein 1 (AP-1). Here, we show that NF-κB-binding cofactor inhibitor of NF-κB-ζ (IκB-ζ) is constitutively expressed in HTLV-I-infected T cell lines and ATL cells, and Tax transactivates the IκB-ζ gene, mainly through NF-κB. Microarray analysis of IκB-ζ-expressing uninfected T cells demonstrated that IκB-ζ induced the expression of NF-κB. and interferon-regulatory genes such as B cell CLL/lymphoma 3 (Bcl3), guanylate-binding protein 1, and signal transducer and activator of transcription 1. The transcriptional activation domain, nuclear localization signal, and NF-κB-binding domain of IκB-ζ were required for Bcl3 induction, and IκB-ζ synergistically enhanced Tax-induced Bcl3 transactivation in an NF-κB-dependent manner. Interestingly, IκB-ζ inhibited Tax-induced NF-κB, AP-1 activation, and HTLV-I transcription. Furthermore, IκB-ζ interacted with Tax in vitro and this interaction was also observed in an HTLV-I-transformed T cell line. These results suggest that IκB-ζ modulates Tax-dependent and Tax-independent gene transcription in T cells. The function of IκB-ζ may be of significance in ATL genesis and pathogenesis of HTLV-I-associated diseases.

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