Infection of defective human T-lymphotropic virus type 1
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In a previous study, we reported that an identical defective provirus had integrated into multiple sites of the genome of a representative human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) cell line, MT-2. A possible explanation for this may be the repeated infection of this defective provirus to a cell. Therefore, we attempted to determine whether a defective provirus could transmit during the co-culture of HTLV-1 uninfected human T-cell line, Jurkat, with MT-2 cells treated with mitomycin C. As a result, we established not only a cell line with the integration of one complete provirus, but also a cell line with the integration of one defective provirus. The rearrangement of the T-cell receptor -γ gene of these cell lines showed them to be derived from Jurkat cells. Both HTLV-1 Tax/Rex and HBZ RNA were detected in the cell line, which harbors a complete provirus. On the other hand, HBZ RNA and transcriptional product specific for the defective provirus were detected in the cell line, which harbors a defective HTLV-1 provirus only. These results suggested that a defective HTLV-1 provirus with large depletion of internal sequence could transmit to other cells. Moreover, the defective provirus can be transcriptionally active. This suggested the possibility that the defective HTLV-1 provirus found in the lymphocytes of HTLV-1 carriers and patients with adult T-cell leukemia may transmit to other T-cells in vivo. The results also suggested that defective provirus in HTLV-1 carriers could be functional and may play a role in leukemogenesis.
KeywordsHTLV-1 Defective virus MT-2 cell line
The authors would like to thank Ms. Y. Kaseda and Ms. K. Takatsuka (Miyazaki University) for their technical support and assistance.
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Conflict of interest
We have no disclosure.
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