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FASEB J. 1990 Feb 1;4(2):169-75.

Regulation of human T cell leukemia virus expression.

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Department of Microbiology, UCLA School of Medicine 90024-1678.


Retroviruses of the type C morphology have been implicated in a wide variety of diseases in animals and humans. The human T cell leukemia viruses types I (HTLV-I) and II (HTLV-II), the prototypic human-type C retroviruses, have been identified as the causative agents of some forms of human leukemia and neurological disorders. The genetic structure and regulation of the HTLVs are more complex than their avian and murine leukemia virus counterparts. In addition to the gag, pol, and env genes that encode the characteristic virion proteins of all replication competent retroviruses, the genomes of HTLV encode the non-structural proteins, Tax and Rex, which are required for regulating viral gene expression. To understand what appears to be a complex mechanism of disease induction by HTLV, elucidating the regulation and function of the viral gene products and the interaction of these products with each other, as well as with cellular factors, will be critical. This review focuses primarily on regulation of HTLV gene expression in the infected human T lymphocyte, but also discusses analogous gene regulation by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It concentrates specifically on the role these gene products play in virus replication and, ultimately, pathogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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