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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1995 Sep;11(9):1039-48.

HIV type 1 extracellular Tat protein stimulates growth and protects cells of BK virus/tat transgenic mice from apoptosis.

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Institute of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Ferrara, Italy.


Cells from BKV/tat transgenic mice were characterized for their tumorigenic phenotype in nude and syngeneic BDF mice. The results indicate that the BKV/tat recombinant transgene has a weak tumorigenic potential, mostly predisposing to oncogenesis, and that second events are required for the development of tumorigenicity. Tat is endogenously produced and released by tumor cells. It is taken up by recipient cells directly from the culture medium, without need of cell to cell contact. Extracellular Tat stimulates proliferation of cells from BKV/tat transgenic mice and protects them from apoptosis under conditions of serum starvation. Our results are in agreement with a model in which Tat induces its effects on target cells in two different ways. Growth promotion may require interaction of extracellular Tat with surface receptors eliciting a signal for cell proliferation, whereas intranuclear localization of Tat is necessary for transactivation of viral and cellular genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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