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1.  Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) bZIP Factor Requires Cellular Transcription Factor JunD To Upregulate HTLV-1 Antisense Transcription from the 3′ Long Terminal Repeat 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(17):9070-9078.
Infection with the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) results in a variety of diseases including adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), a fatal malignancy characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of virally infected CD4+ T cells. The HTLV-1 basic leucine zipper factor (HBZ) is believed to contribute to development and maintenance of ATL. Unlike the other HTLV-1 genes, the hbz gene is encoded on the complementary strand of the provirus and therefore is not under direct control of the promoter within the 5′ long terminal repeat (LTR) of the provirus. This promoter can undergo inactivating genetic or epigenetic changes during the course of ATL that eliminates expression of all viral genes except that of hbz. In contrast, repressive modifications are not known to occur on the hbz promoter located in the 3′ LTR, and hbz expression has been consistently detected in all ATL patient samples. Although Sp1 regulates basal transcription from the HBZ promoter, other factors that activate transcription remain undefined. In this study, we used a proviral reporter construct deleted of the 5′ LTR to show that HBZ upregulates its own expression through cooperation with JunD. Activation of antisense transcription was apparent in serum-deprived cells in which the level of JunD was elevated, and elimination of JunD expression by gene knockout or shRNA-mediated knockdown abrogated this effect. Activation through HBZ and JunD additionally required Sp1 binding at the hbz promoter. These data favor a model in which JunD is recruited to the promoter through Sp1, where it heterodimerizes with HBZ thereby enhancing its activity. Separately, hbz gene expression led to an increase in JunD abundance, and this effect correlated with emergence of features of transformed cells in immortalized fibroblasts. Overall, our results suggest that JunD represents a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of ATL.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00661-12
PMCID: PMC3416116  PMID: 22696638
2.  Relationship between Nonstructural Protein 1 Detection and Plasma Virus Load in Dengue Patients 
We report data from a prospective observational study performed in Martinique during a co-epidemic of dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2) and serotype 4 (DENV-4). Among 70 serum samples from patients with DENV-2 (n = 21) or DENV-4 (n = 49) infections, 47 (67.1%) were positive for dengue nonstructural protein 1 (NS1). Antigenemia correlated with plasma virus load and was independent of immune status and the time of sampling. Increased viremia 4–6 days after onset of illness was associated with NS1 positivity, secondary infection, and severe disease. Testing for NS1 could help identify the potentially most severely ill patients during the critical phase of dengue.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2010.10-0138
PMCID: PMC2929072  PMID: 20810841
5.  HTLV-1 Evades Type I Interferon Antiviral Signaling by Inducing the Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 1 (SOCS1) 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(11):e1001177.
Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiologic agent of Adult T cell Leukemia (ATL) and the neurological disorder HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Although the majority of HTLV-1–infected individuals remain asymptomatic carriers (AC) during their lifetime, 2–5% will develop either ATL or HAM/TSP, but never both. To better understand the gene expression changes in HTLV-1-associated diseases, we examined the mRNA profiles of CD4+ T cells isolated from 7 ATL, 12 HAM/TSP, 11 AC and 8 non-infected controls. Using genomic approaches followed by bioinformatic analysis, we identified gene expression pattern characteristic of HTLV-1 infected individuals and particular disease states. Of particular interest, the suppressor of cytokine signaling 1—SOCS1—was upregulated in HAM/TSP and AC patients but not in ATL. Moreover, SOCS1 was positively correlated with the expression of HTLV-1 mRNA in HAM/TSP patient samples. In primary PBMCs transfected with a HTLV-1 proviral clone and in HTLV-1-transformed MT-2 cells, HTLV-1 replication correlated with induction of SOCS1 and inhibition of IFN-α/β and IFN-stimulated gene expression. Targeting SOCS1 with siRNA restored type I IFN production and reduced HTLV-1 replication in MT-2 cells. Conversely, exogenous expression of SOCS1 resulted in enhanced HTLV-1 mRNA synthesis. In addition to inhibiting signaling downstream of the IFN receptor, SOCS1 inhibited IFN-β production by targeting IRF3 for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. These observations identify a novel SOCS1 driven mechanism of evasion of the type I IFN antiviral response against HTLV-1.
Author Summary
Infection with HTLV-1 leads to the development of Adult T cell Leukemia (ATL) or the neurological disorder HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Although the majority of HTLV-1–infected individuals remain asymptomatic carriers (AC) during their lifetime, 2–5% will develop either ATL or HAM/TSP. Using gene expression profiling of CD4+ T lymphocytes from HTLV-1 infected patients, we identified Suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) as being highly expressed in HAM/TSP and AC patients. SOCS1 expression positively correlated with the high HTLV-1 mRNA load that is characteristic of HAM/TSP patients. SOCS1 inhibited cellular antiviral signaling during HTLV-1 infection by degrading IRF3, an essential transcription factor in the interferon pathway. Our study reveals a novel evasion mechanism utilized by HTLV-1 that leads to increased retroviral replication, without triggering the innate immune response.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001177
PMCID: PMC2973829  PMID: 21079688
6.  Dengue Type 3 Virus, Saint Martin, 2003–2004 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(5):757-761.
We describe the spread of a dengue virus during an outbreak in Saint Martin island (French West Indies) during winter 2003–2004. Dengue type 3 viruses were isolated from 6 patients exhibiting clinical symptoms. This serotype had not been detected on the island during the preceding 3 years. Genome sequence determinations and analyses showed a common origin with dengue type 3 viruses isolated in Martinique 2 years earlier.
doi:10.3201/eid1105.040959
PMCID: PMC3320377  PMID: 15890134
Dengue Virus; French west indies; molecular epidemiology
7.  Increased proviral load in HTLV-1-infected patients with rheumatoid arthritis or connective tissue disease 
Retrovirology  2005;2:4.
Background
Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) proviral load is related to the development of HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) and has also been shown to be elevated in the peripheral blood in HTLV-1-infected patients with uveitis or alveolitis. Increased proliferation of HTLV-1-infected cells in, or migration of such cells into, the central nervous system is also seen in HAM/TSP. In the present study, we evaluated the proviral load in a cohort of HTLV-1-infected patients with arthritic conditions.
Results
HTLV-1 proviral load in the peripheral blood from 12 patients with RA and 6 patients with connective tissue disease was significantly higher than that in matched asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers, but similar to that in matched HAM/TSP controls. HAM/TSP was seen in one-third of the HTLV-1-infected patients with RA or connective tissue disease, but did not account for the higher proviral load compared to the asymptomatic carrier group. The proviral load was increased in the synovial fluid and tissue from an HTLV-1-infected patient with RA, the values suggesting that the majority of infiltrated cells were HTLV-1-infected. In the peripheral blood from HTLV-1-infected patients with RA or connective tissue disease, HTLV-1 proviral load correlated with the percentages of memory CD4+ T cells and activated T cells, and these percentages were shown to be markedly higher in the synovial fluid than in the peripheral blood in an HTLV-1-infected patient with RA.
Conclusions
These biological findings are consistent with a role of the retrovirus in the development of arthritis in HTLV-1-infected patients. A high level of HTLV-1-infected lymphocytes in the peripheral blood and their accumulation in situ might play a central role in the pathogenesis of HTLV-1-associated inflammatory disorders. Alternatively, the autoimmune arthritis, its etiological factors or treatments might secondarily enhance HTLV-1 proviral load.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-2-4
PMCID: PMC549050  PMID: 15686595
8.  Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Genotypes in the Caribbean Island of Martinique: Evidence for a Large Radiation of HCV-2 and for a Recent Introduction from Europe of HCV-4 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(2):784-791.
Molecular epidemiological studies of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the Caribbean may help to specify the origin and spread of HCV infection. Indeed, the Caribbean population is intermixed from European and African origins and geographically close to the American continent. We characterized HCV genotypes in the Caribbean island of Martinique. HCV genotypes were analyzed by sequencing or reverse hybridization in the 5′ noncoding region (5′NC) in 250 HCV-monoinfected and 85 HCV-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-coinfected patients. In addition, sequencing in the nonstructural 5B (NS5B) gene was required to determine the subtype or to perform phylogenetic analysis in selected samples. Genotypes 1 to 6 were found, respectively, in 84.4, 6.8, 5.2, 2.8, 0.4, and 0.4% of 250 HCV-monoinfected patients and in 71.7, 7.1, 15.3, 5.9, 0, and 0% of 85 HCV-HIV-coinfected patients. HCV-1b was found in 66.4% of the HCV-monoinfected patients and was associated with blood transfusion, whereas HCV-1a was detected in 41.2% of the HCV-HIV-coinfected patients and was associated with intravenous drug use (IVDU). The HCV-3 strains belonged to subtype 3a and were linked to IVDU. Phylogenetic analyses were focused on HCV-2 and HCV-4, which are common in Africa. Two opposite patterns were evidenced. NS5B sequences from 19 HCV-2 isolates were affiliated with many different subtypes described either in Europe or in West Africa, suggesting an ancient radiation. In contrast, seven of the nine HCV-4 NS5B sequences ranged within HCV-4a and HCV-4d clusters spreading in continental France by the IVDU route. Epidemiological data demonstrate the recent introduction of HCV-4a and -4d subtypes into the Caribbean.
doi:10.1128/JCM.42.2.784-791.2004
PMCID: PMC344442  PMID: 14766854

Results 1-8 (8)