Expression of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is regulated both by the HTLV-1 Tax transactival or and by cellular transcriptional factors binding to the viral long terminal repeat (LTR), suggesting that cellular signals may play a role in regulating viral expression. Treatment of cells chronically infected with HTLV-1, which express low levels of HTLV-1 RNAs and Tax protein, with phorbol esters (i.e., phorbol12-myristate 13- acetate [PMA]), phytohemagglutinin (PHA), sodium butyrate, or combinations of cytokines resulted in induction of HTLV-1 gene expression. PMA or PHA treatment following cotransfecfion of HTLV-1 Tax expression plasmids resulted in synergistic activation of HTLV-1 LTR-directed gene expression, apparently involving tyrosine kinase-mediated pathways. These results suggest that cellular activation stimuli may cooperate with HTLV-1 Tax to enhance expression of integrated HTLV-1 genomes and thus may play a role in the pathogenesis of HTLV-1 disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science