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Blood. 1995 Dec 1;86(11):4243-9.

Characterization of T cells immortalized by Tax1 of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1.

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Virology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


Peripheral blood T cells were immortalized in vitro by introduction of the Tax1 gene of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) with a retroviral vector and were characterized for transformation-associated markers. Long-term observation showed that these Tax1-immortalized T cells eventually exhibited very similar features that were characteristic of HTLV-1-immortalized T cells, ie, increased expression of egr-1, c-fos, IL-2R alpha, and Lyn and decreased expression of Lck and cell-surface CD3 antigen. Among these changes, an increase in the expression of Lyn and a decrease in the expression of Lck and cell-surface CD3 antigen were observed only in Tax1-immortalized T cells after long-term culture. The expression level of Tax1 protein did not differ significantly between early and late passage of cells, and the cellular clonality was found to be the same by the analysis of the retroviral vector integration site and the T-cell receptor beta-chain gene rearrangement pattern. These changes in the expression of Lyn, Lck, and cell-surface CD3 antigen probably resulted from indirect effects of Tax1 that appeared after extended culture.

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