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Viruses. 2015 Dec 9;7(12):6490-505. doi: 10.3390/v7122952.

Roles of HTLV-1 basic Zip Factor (HBZ) in Viral Chronicity and Leukemic Transformation. Potential New Therapeutic Approaches to Prevent and Treat HTLV-1-Related Diseases.

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CPBS, CNRS FRE3689, Université Montpellier, 34293 Montpellier, France.
Département des Sciences Biologiques, and Centre de Recherche BioMed Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC H2X 3X8, Canada.
Laboratoire de Virologie-EA4537, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire de Martinique, Fort de France, Martinique.
CPBS, CNRS FRE3689, Université Montpellier, 34293 Montpellier, France.


More than thirty years have passed since human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) was described as the first retrovirus to be the causative agent of a human cancer, adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), but the precise mechanism behind HTLV-1 pathogenesis still remains elusive. For more than two decades, the transforming ability of HTLV-1 has been exclusively associated to the viral transactivator Tax. Thirteen year ago, we first reported that the minus strand of HTLV-1 encoded for a basic Zip factor factor (HBZ), and since then several teams have underscored the importance of this antisense viral protein for the maintenance of a chronic infection and the proliferation of infected cells. More recently, we as well as others have demonstrated that HBZ has the potential to transform cells both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we focus on the latest progress in our understanding of HBZ functions in chronicity and cellular transformation. We will discuss the involvement of this paradigm shift of HTLV-1 research on new therapeutic approaches to treat HTLV-1-related human diseases.


HTLV-1 bZip Factor; Valproate; adult T-cell leukemia; human T-cell leukemia virus type 1

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