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Oncogene. 1997 May 1;14(17):2071-8.

Characterization of peripheral blood T-lymphocytes transduced with HTLV-I Tax mutants with different trans-activating phenotypes.

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Virology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Tax1, a transcriptional trans-activator of the Human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I), induces the expression of many cellular genes through interaction with at least three distinct cellular transcription factors; CREB/ATF, NF-kappaB, and SRF. This Tax1-induced activation of cellular genes is considered to be a critical event in T-cell transformation by HTLV-I. To elucidate the role of each Tax1-inducible transcriptional pathway in T-cell transformation, we introduced Tax1 mutants with different trans-activating phenotypes into peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) by retroviral vectors. Analysis of these PBLs revealed that activation of the NF-kappaB pathway is sufficient to promote the growth response to IL-2. However, for the clonal expansion of CD4+ T-cells, which is a characteristic result of HTLV-I infection, activation of the CREB/ATF and SRF pathways is also required.

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