TCF1 and LEF1 act as T-cell intrinsic HTLV-1 antagonists by targeting Tax.

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ヒトT細胞白血病ウイルス1型の感染特異性の解明に成功 -HTLV-1感染症の病態解明に期待-. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2015-02-05.

Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a delta-type retrovirus that induces malignant and inflammatory diseases during its long persistence in vivo. HTLV-1 can infect various kinds of cells; however, HTLV-1 provirus is predominantly found in peripheral CD4 T cells in vivo. Here we find that TCF1 and LEF1, two Wnt transcription factors that are specifically expressed in T cells, inhibit viral replication through antagonizing Tax functions. TCF1 and LEF1 can each interact with Tax and inhibit Tax-dependent viral expression and activation of NF-κB and AP-1. As a result, HTLV-1 replication is suppressed in the presence of either TCF1 or LEF1. On the other hand, T-cell activation suppresses the expression of both TCF1 and LEF1, and this suppression enables Tax to function as an activator. We analyzed the thymus of a simian T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (STLV-1) infected Japanese macaque, and found a negative correlation between proviral load and TCF1/LEF1 expression in various T-cell subsets, supporting the idea that TCF1 and LEF1 negatively regulate HTLV-1 replication and the proliferation of infected cells. Thus, this study identified TCF1 and LEF1 as Tax antagonistic factors in vivo, a fact which may critically influence the peripheral T-cell tropism of this virus.


  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112(7), 2216-2221, 2015-02-02

    National Academy of Sciences


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