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Oncogene. 1994 Apr;9(4):1167-75.

A transforming fragment within the direct repeat region of human herpesvirus type 6 that transactivates HIV-1.

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Department of Microbiology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC 20007.


HHV-6 infection has been associated with several malignancies including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease by the presence of high antibody titer and/or the presence of HHV-6 DNA. To understand their oncogenic potential, SalI restriction fragments from HHV-6 strain U1102 were transfected into NIH3T3 cells to assess transforming ability. A 3.9-kbp SalI-L DNA fragment spanning the junction of the direct repeat left (DRL) and unique long segment (UL) regions of HHV-6 induced foci of morphologically altered cells. The SalI-L transformed NIH3T3 focal lines induced tumors in nude mice within 2 weeks. The retention of HHV-6 specific DNA observed in SalI-L transformed cells and their tumor-derived lines suggest a possible maintenance function. Since both HHV-6 infection as well as transforming fragments from other DNA viruses have been shown to transactivate the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat (LTR), SalI-L was examined for transactivation activity. SalI-L up-regulated HIV-1 LTR CAT 10-15 fold in both monkey CV-1 and human T Jurkat cells. The further study of the SalI-L transforming fragment exhibiting transactivation of HIV-1 LTR will elucidate whether these two activities are encoded by a single gene and will aid in the understanding of the interaction between HHV-6 and HIV-1 as it relates to progression of AIDS and/or AIDS-related malignancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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