This study aims to: (1) document the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) patients in Kunming and Shanghai; (2) examine risk factors for HCV by comparing those who tested positive with those who were negative and (3) examine if HCV serostatus is related to attitudes toward MMT.
Using data collected from 306 patients admitted to MMT in 2009–2010 in Shanghai and Kunming, we compared HCV-positive and HCV-negative patients (based on clinical records) on their HCV knowledge and risk behaviors and attitudes toward MMT.
The HCV seropositive rate was 53.3% (51.3% in Shanghai and 55.5% in Kunming) and a majority of patients did not know their serostatus. Patients scored on average fewer than 6 correct out of the 20 items in the HCV knowledge questionnaire. Recent injection use and length of opiate use were strong predictors of HCV status, while no differences were found between HCV-positive and HCV-negative individuals in sexual risks or HCV knowledge. Both groups expressed similar views toward MMT.
The high HCV prevalence and the general lack of knowledge about HCV infection, transmission and treatment suggest the need to provide HCV education and health promotion programs among patients in MMT.
communicable diseases; health services; public health
Preclinical studies suggest that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors may restore tumour sensitivity to retinoids. The objective of this study was to determine the safety, tolerability, and the pharmacokinetic (PK)/pharmacodynamic (PD) profiles of the HDAC inhibitor entinostat in combination with 13-cis retinoic acid (CRA) in patients with solid tumours.
Patients with advanced solid tumours were treated with entinostat orally once weekly and with CRA orally twice daily × 3 weeks every 4 weeks. The starting dose for entinostat was 4 mg m−2 with a fixed dose of CRA at 1 mg kg−1 per day. Entinostat dose was escalated by 1 mg m−2 increments. Pharmacokinetic concentrations of entinostat and CRA were determined by LC/MS/MS. Western blot analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and tumour samples were performed to evaluate target inhibition.
A total of 19 patients were enroled. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was exceeded at the entinostat 5 mg m−2 dose level (G3 hyponatremia, neutropenia, and anaemia). Fatigue (G1 or G2) was a common side effect. Entinostat exhibited substantial variability in clearance (147%) and exposure. CRA trough concentrations were consistent with prior reports. No objective responses were observed, however, prolonged stable disease occurred in patients with prostate, pancreatic, and kidney cancer. Data further showed increased tumour histone acetylation and decreased phosphorylated ERK protein expression.
The combination of entinostat with CRA was reasonably well tolerated. The recommended phase II doses are entinostat 4 mg m−2 once weekly and CRA 1 mg kg−1 per day. Although no tumour responses were seen, further evaluation of this combination is warranted.
histone deacetylase inhibitor; retinoic acid receptor; solid tumours
Ion flow from intact tissue into epithelial wound sites results in lateral electric currents that may represent a major driver of wound healing cell migration. Use of applied electric fields to promote wound healing is the basis of Medicare-approved electric stimulation therapy. This study investigated the roles for electric fields in wound re-epithelialisation, using the Pax6+/− mouse model of the human ocular surface abnormality aniridic keratopathy (in which wound healing and corneal epithelial cell migration are disrupted). Both wild-type and Pax6+/− corneal epithelial cells showed increased migration speeds in response to applied electric fields in vitro. However, only Pax6+/+ cells demonstrated directional galvanotaxis towards the cathode, with activation of pSrc signalling, polarised to the leading edges of cells. In vivo, the epithelial wound site normally represents a cathode, but 43% of Pax6+/− corneas exhibited reversed endogenous wound-induced currents (the wound was an anode). These corneas healed at the same rate as wild-type. Surprisingly, epithelial migration did not correlate with direction or magnitude of endogenous currents for wild-type or mutant corneas. Furthermore, during healing in vivo, no polarisation of pSrc was observed. We found little evidence that Src-dependent mechanisms of cell migration, observed in response to applied EFs in vitro, normally exist in vivo. It is concluded that endogenous electric fields do not drive long-term directionality of sustained healing migration in this mouse corneal epithelial model. Ion flow from wounds may nevertheless represent an important component of wound signalling initiation.
Galvanotaxis; Aniridic Keratopathy; electric field; cell migration; wound healing; Pax6; bioelectricity; cornea
The tumor suppressor p53 has a crucial role in cellular response to DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation, but it is still unclear whether p53 can modulate radiation-induced bystander effects (RIBE). In the present work, three different hepatoma cell lines, namely HepG2 (wild p53), PLC/PRF/5 (mutation p53) and Hep3B (p53 null), were irradiated with γ-rays and then co-cultured with normal Chang liver cell (wild p53) in order to elucidate the mechanisms of RIBE. Results showed that the radiosensitivity of HepG2 cells was higher than that of PLC/PRF/5 and Hep3B cells. Only irradiated HepG2 cells, rather than irradiated PLC/PRF/5 or Hep3B cells, could induce bystander effect of micronuclei (MN) formation in the neighboring Chang liver cells. When HepG2 cells were treated with 20 μm pifithrin-α, an inhibitor of p53 function, or 5 μm cyclosporin A (CsA), an inhibitor of cytochrome-c release from mitochondria, the MN induction in bystander Chang liver cells was diminished. In fact, it was found that after irradiation, cytochrome-c was released from mitochondria into the cytoplasm only in HepG2 cells in a p53-dependent manner, but not in PLC/PRF/5 and Hep3B cells. Interestingly, when 50 μg/ml exogenous cytochrome-c was added into cell co-culture medium, RIBE was significantly triggered by irradiated PLC/PRF/5 and Hep3B cells, which previously failed to provoke a bystander effect. In addition, this exogenous cytochrome-c also partly recovered the RIBE induced by irradiated HepG2 cells even with CsA treatment. Our results provide new evidence that the RIBE can be modulated by the p53 status of irradiated hepatoma cells and that a p53-dependent release of cytochrome-c may be involved in the RIBE.
irradiation; hepatoma cells; bystander effect; p53; cytochrome-c
The purpose of this work was to determine the efficacy of inhibiting mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in pancreatic cancer preclinical models and translate preclinical observations to the clinic.
Temsirolimus (20 mg Kg−1 daily) was administered to freshly generated pancreatic cancer xenografts. Tumour growth inhibition was determined after 28 days. Xenografts were characterised at baseline by gene expression and comparative genomic hybridisation. Patients with advanced, gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer were treated with sirolimus (5 mg daily). The primary end point was 6-month survival rate (6mSR). Correlative studies included immunohistochemistry assessment of pathway expression in baseline tumours, drug pharmacokinetics (PKs), response assessment by FDG-PET and pharmacodynamic effects in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).
In all, 4 of 17 xenografts (23%) responded to treatment. Sensitive tumours were characterised by gene copy number variations and overexpression of genes leading to activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Activation of p70S6K correlated with drug activity in the preclinical studies. Sirolimus was well tolerated in the clinic, showed predictable PKs, exerted pathway inhibition in post-treatment PBMCs and resulted in a 6mSR of 26%. No correlation, however, was found between activated p70S6K in tumour tissues and anti-tumour effects.
Sirolimus activity in pancreatic cancer was marginal and not predicted by the selected biomarker.
pancreatic cancer; mTOR; p70S6K; temsirolimus; sirolimus
The pupose of this study was to evaluate the activity of ON 01910.Na, a mitotic inhibitor, in in vitro and in vivo models of pancreatic cancer and to discover biomarkers predictive of efficacy. Successive in vitro and in vivo models were used; these included cell line-derived and patient-derived tumors from our PancXenoBank, a live collection of freshly generated pancreatic cancer xenografts. ON 01910.Na showed equivalent activity to gemcitabine against pancreatic cancer cell lines in vitro. The activity of the agent correlated with suppression of phospho-CDC25C and cyclin B1. These markers were optimized for a fine-needle aspirate ex vivo rapid assay. Cyclin B1 mRNA evaluation yielded the most optimal combination of accuracy and reproducibility. Next, nine patient-derived tumors from the PancXenoBank were profiled using the assay developed in cell lines and treated with ON01910.Na for 28 days. Two cases were cataloged as potential responders and seven as resistants. There was a correlation between the ex vivo assay and sensitivity to the tested agent, as the two cases prospectively identified as sensitive met prespecified criteria for response. Of the seven tumors of predictive resistant, only one was found to be sensitive to ON 01910.Na. In addition, there was a good correlation between cyclin B1 downregulation ex vivo and changes in cyclin B1 protein post-treatment. The novel mitotic inhibitor, ON 01910.Na, showed activity in preclinical model of pancreatic cancer. A rapid assay was rationally developed that not only identified cases sensitive to ON 01910.Na, but also anticipated the pharmacodynamic events occurring after in vivo exposure.
pancreatic cancer; xenograft model; biomarker; ex vivo; cyclin B1; mitotic modulator
— The synthesis of 2,4-bis[4-(4,5-dihydro-1H-imidazol-2-yl)phenyl]-1,3,5-triazine 6a and 2,4-bis[4-(1,4,5,6-tetrahydropyrimidin-2-yl)phenyl]-1,3,5-triazine 6b in 3 steps from either 4-bromobenzamidine or 4-(carbamoyl)benzamidine is reported. The synthesis of 4,6-bis[4-(4,5-dihydro-1H-imidazol-2-yl)phenyl]-2-dimethylamino-1,3,5-triazine 9a and 4,6-bis[4-(1,4,5,6-tetrahydropyrimidin-2-yl)phenyl]-2-dimethylamino-1,3,5-triazine 9b in 2 steps from 1,4-dicyanobenzene is also described. The compounds 6b and 9b bind strongly to DNA model sequences and inhibit topoisomerase II from 2 microbial sources. Compounds 6a and 9a bind to both DNA and RNA model sequences whereas 6b and 9b essentially do not bind to the RNA model.
triazine; diaryldiamidine; DNA; RNA; topoisomerase II
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototypic autoimmune disease with complex genetic inheritance. Recently, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in BANK1 and TNFSF4 have been shown to be associated with SLE in Caucasian populations, but it is not known whether they are also involved in the disease in other ethnic groups. Recent data from our genome-wide association study (GWAS) for 314 SLE cases and 920 controls collected in Hong Kong identified SNPs in and around BANK1 and TNFSF4 to be associated with SLE risk. On the basis of the results of the reported studies and our GWAS, SNPs were selected for further genotyping in 949 SLE patients (overlapping with the 314 cases in our GWAS) and non-overlapping 1042 healthy controls. We confirmed the associations of BANK1 and TNFSF4 with SLE in Chinese (BANK1, rs3733197, odds ratio (OR)=0.84, P=0.021; BANK1, rs17266594, OR=0.61, P=4.67 × 10−9; TNFSF4, rs844648, OR=1.22, P=2.47 × 10−3; TNFSF4, rs2205960, OR=1.30, P=2.41 × 10−4). Another SNP located in intron 1 of BANK1, rs4522865, was separately replicated by Sequenom in 360 cases and 360 controls and was also confirmed to be associated with SLE (OR=0.725, P=2.93 × 10−3). Logistic regression analysis showed that rs3733197 (A383T in ankyrin domain) and rs17266594 (a branch point-site SNP) from BANK1 had independent contributions towards the disease association (P=0.037 and 6.63 × 10−8, respectively). In TNFSF4, rs2205960 was associated with SLE independently from the effect of rs844648 (P=6.26 × 10−3), but not vice versa (P=0.55). These findings suggest that multiple independent genetic variants may be present within the gene locus, which exert their effects on SLE pathogenesis through different mechanisms.
SLE; BANK1; TNFSF4; Chinese; genetic association
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are known to promote periodontal tissue regeneration, while noggin inhibits the biological activities of BMP-2, -4, and -7. To investigate the effect of BMPs and noggin gene transfer on cementogenesis,we used cloned murine cementoblasts (OCCM). Cells were transduced using adenoviruses encoding BMP-7 (Ad-BMP-7), noggin devoid of the heparin binding site (Ad-NOGΔB2), or a control adenovirus encoding green fluorescent protein (Ad-GFP). Cells were seeded into 3D polymer scaffolds and implanted into SCID mice to determine the in vivo mineral-inducing ability of the cells. Cells transduced with Ad-NOG.B2 at 3 and 6 weeks postimplantation exhibited reduced mineral formation compared with all other groups. Although gene expression of osteocalcin and bone sialoprotein increased after Ad-BMP-7 transduction in vitro, following BMP-7 gene transfer in vivo, transcripts for OCN and BSP were not significantly different from controls, and mineral density was not significantly increased compared with Ad-GFP and NT groups. These results indicate that in mature cementoblast populations, gene transfer of noggin inhibits biomineralization induced by cementoblasts, whereas exogenous BMP has minimal effects on mineralization.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins; Cementoblasts; Gene Therapy; Mineralization; Noggin
Cloned cementoblasts (OCCMs), periodontal ligament fibroblasts (SV-PDLs), and dental follicle (SV-F) cells obtained from mice were used as a tool to study periodontal tissue engineering. OCCM, SV-PDL, and SV-F cells were seeded onto three-dimensional poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) scaffolds and cultured with the use of bioreactors or implanted subcutaneously in severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) mice for up to 6 weeks. We explored the behavior of these cells in porous PLGA sponges by cell growth, expression of mineral-associated genes using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and mineralization by histologic analysis in vitro and in vivo. Results indicated that cells attached to PLGA scaffolds under either static or dynamic conditions in vitro. Only OCCM implants, retrieved from both in vitro bioreactors and SCID mice at 3-and 6-weeks post-cell implantation exhibited mineral formation. Types I and XII collagens, osteocalcin, and bone sialoprotein genes were detected in all implants retrieved from SCID mice. These results suggest that delivery of selected cells via PLGA scaffolds may serve as a viable approach for promoting periodontal tissue regeneration.
tissue engineering; cementoblasts; periodontal ligament; dental follicle; PLGA; cell therapy
Background: Antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA) are serological markers of ANCA associated systemic vasculitides (AASV), which is one of the most common multisystem autoimmune diseases. Features of Chinese patients with AASV have not been fully investigated.
Objective: To analyse the clinical and pathological characteristics of Chinese patients with AASV.
Methods: 426 Chinese patients with AASV diagnosed in the past eight years were retrospectively studied and their clinical and pathological data were analysed.
Results: Of the 426 patients, 87 (20.4%) were Wegener's granulomatosis, 337 (79.1%) were microscopic polyangiitis and two (0.5%) were Churg-Strauss syndrome. Only 201 of 426 (47.2%) patients were diagnosed within three months. Clinically, the patients had multisystem involvement. Altogether 371 of 426 (87.1%) had kidney involvement and 260 of 426 (61.0%) had lung involvement. The prevalences of renal involvement and fatigue were significantly higher in patients with MPO-ANCA than that in patients with PR3-ANCA; the prevalences of ophthalmic, nasal involvement, rash, and arthragia were significantly higher in patients with PR3-ANCA than those in patients with MPO-ANCA. The one and five year death rates were 13.1% and 22.4%, respectively. The percentage of patients progressing to end stage renal disease at one and five years was 15.9% and 27.1%, respectively.
Conclusions: AASV is not a rare autoimmune disease in Chinese people. Kidney and lung were the most vulnerable organs. For patients with multiorgan damage, an ANCA test should be performed to make an early diagnosis and to start treatment in time.
Objectives: To assess patients with different types of mutations of the β myosin heavy chain (β MHC) gene causing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and to determine the prognosis of patients according to the affected functional domain of β MHC.
Design and setting: Cohort study of subjects referred to an HCM clinic at an academic hospital.
Patients: 70 probands from the HCM clinic were screened for mutations of the β MHC gene and 148 family members of the genotype positive probands were further assessed. The control group for the genetic studies consisted of 106 healthy subjects.
Main outcome measures: Direct DNA sequencing was used to screen 70 probands for mutations of the β MHC gene. Family members underwent genotypic and detailed clinical, ECG, and echocardiographic assessments. The survival of genotype positive subjects was evaluated according to the type of functional domain affected by the missense mutation and according to phenotypic characteristics.
Results: A mutation of the β MHC gene was detected in 15 of 70 probands (21%). Of 148 family members studied in these 15 families, 74 were identified with a β MHC defect. Eleven mutations were detected, including four novel mutations: Ala196Thr, Pro211Leu, Val404Leu, and Arg870Cys. Median survival was 66 years (95% confidence interval (CI) 64 to 77 years) in all affected subjects. There was a significant difference in survival between subjects according to the affected functional domain (p = 0.02). Significant independent predictors of decreased survival were the non-conservative (that is, associated with a change in the amino acid charge) missense mutations that affected the actin binding site (hazard ratio 4.4, 95% CI 1.6 to 11.8; p = 0.003) and those that affected the rod portion of β MHC (hazard ratio 4.8, 95% CI 1.2 to 19.4; p = 0.03). No phenotypic characteristics were associated with decreased survival or cardiovascular morbidity.
Conclusions: The type of β MHC functional domain affected by the missense mutation is predictive of overall prognosis in HCM.
cardiomyopathy; genetics; hypertrophy; molecular biology; myosin
We have found that the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway exerts exquisite control of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in vitro and in vivo in rodents. Structurally different inhibitors that bind to specific catalytic β subunits of the 20S proteasome stimulated bone formation in bone organ cultures in concentrations as low as 10 nM. When administered systemically to mice, the proteasome inhibitors epoxomicin and proteasome inhibitor–1 increased bone volume and bone formation rates over 70% after only 5 days of treatment. Since the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway has been shown to modulate expression of the Drosophila homologue of the bone morphogenetic protein-2 and -4 (BMP-2 and BMP-4) genes, we examined the effects of noggin, an endogenous inhibitor of BMP-2 and BMP-4 on bone formation stimulated by these compounds and found that it was abrogated. These compounds increased BMP-2 but not BMP-4 or BMP-6 mRNA expression in osteoblastic cells, suggesting that BMP-2 was responsible for the observed bone formation that was inhibited by noggin. We show proteasome inhibitors regulate BMP-2 gene expression at least in part through inhibiting the proteolytic processing of Gli3 protein. Our results suggest that the ubiquitin-proteasome machinery regulates osteoblast differentiation and bone formation and that inhibition of specific components of this system may be useful therapeutically in common diseases of bone loss.
AIMS: To investigate the prevalence of apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) of different types and grades and in liver cell dysplasia, and to test whether the apoptotic rate is correlated with the p53 protein status. METHODS: 37 HCC and 66 six liver samples with liver cell dysplasia were analysed for apoptosis using in situ DNA end labelling (ISEL), and for p53 protein expression by immunohistochemistry. In HCCs, proliferative activity was quantitatively assessed using proliferating cell nuclear antigen labelling. RESULTS: The apoptotic index in HCC as based on ISEL ranged from 0.1 to 13.5 per 1000 cells analysed and was not related to type or grade. No nuclear staining was observed in multinuclear tumour cells. There was a significant correlation between the apoptotic rate and both the proliferative activity and p53 protein reactivity. In liver samples containing p53 protein positive liver cell dysplasia cells, there was a significantly higher apoptotic rate of these cells. CONCLUSIONS: Apoptosis is detectable in HCC, and is not related to type and grade. There is a highly significant positive correlation between the apoptotic rate in HCC and both the proliferative activity and p53 protein expression. A similar phenomenon occurs for putative cancer precursors. The findings support the role of p53 in regulating apoptosis in preneoplastic and neoplastic liver lesions.
BACKGROUND: Bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI), a constituent of primary neutrophil granules, is a potent natural antibiotic and an antineutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA) antigen in cases of vasculitis in which the target antigen is neither myeloperoxidase (MPO) nor proteinase-3 (PR3). AIM: To investigate BPI as a possible target antigen for ANCAs in inflammatory bowel disease. METHODS: ANCAs were detected by routine immunofluorescence (IIF) and solid phase enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) performed for antibodies to the purified neutrophil granule proteins; MPO, PR3, cathepsin-G, lactoferrin, and BPI in serum samples from 88 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (36 with Crohn's disease, 52 with ulcerative colitis). Thirty patients with bacterial enteritis acted as controls. RESULTS: Significantly more patients with ulcerative colitis were ANCA positive by IIF (60%) than patients with Crohn's disease (28%) or infectious enteritis (23%) (p < 0.001). IgG anti-BPI antibodies were present in 29% of patients with ulcerative colitis, 14% of patients with Crohn's disease, and 23% of patients with infectious enteritis, occurring in 44% of those patients with inflammatory bowel disease who were ANCA positive by IIF. Antibodies to other ANCA antigens were rare. The presence of ANCAs was not related to either disease activity or extent; presence of anti-BPI antibodies was significantly related to both a lower serum albumin concentration (p = 0.001) and a higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate (p = 0.02) in patients with ulcerative colitis, and to colonic involvement in patients with Crohn's disease (p = 0.01). CONCLUSION: BPI is a significant minority target antigen for ANCAs in inflammatory bowel disease that seems related to colonic Crohn's disease and disease activity in ulcerative colitis. Anti-BPI antibodies occur in infectious enteritis.
Behçet's disease is a multisystem disorder affecting primarily mucocutaneous and ocular sites although the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, central nervous and respiratory systems may also be involved. Hulusi Behçet, a Turkish dermatologist, first described Behçet's disease in 1937 and suggested a possible infectious aetiology. The pathogenesis of this condition still remains unclear although it is likely that infection acts as a trigger in genetically susceptible individuals. We report a patient with unusual cutaneous manifestations of Behçet's disease and antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) directed against the cytotoxic protein, bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI). This is the first report of Behçet's disease associated with this autoantibody.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) non-invasively measures the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of water, which is sensitive to the biophysical characteristics of tissue. Because anti-cancer treatment alters tumour pathophysiology, tumour ADC may be altered by treatment. In order to test this hypothesis, ADC was measured in s.c. implanted murine RIF-1 tumours before and up to 9 days after treatment with cyclophosphamide. A dose-dependent, reversible increase in tumour ADC was observed after cyclophosphamide treatment, which is consistent with an increase in the fraction of interstitial water due to treatment-induced cell death. Because tumour water ADC is increased substantially at a time when there is no change in tumour volume for a dose which produces minimal cell kill, its measurement could provide a novel means for early detection of response to anti-cancer therapy. If the changes in ADC observed in the present study are evident for commonly used anti-cancer therapies in different tumour types and specific to a therapeutic response, the approach could be broadly applicable as a response predictor since magnetic resonance imaging can be used to measure ADC in human tumours.
BACKGROUND: The histopathology of multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by a loss of myelin and oligodendrocytes, relative preservation of axons, and a modest inflammatory response. The reasons for this selective oligodendrocyte death and demyelination are unknown. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In light of the T lymphocyte and macrophage infiltrates in MS lesions and the numerous cytokines these cells secrete, the direct influence of cytokines on survival of cultured oligodendrocytes and sensory neurons was investigated. Expression of cytokines in vivo was determined by immunolabeling cryostat sections of snap-frozen tissue containing chronic active lesions from four different patients. The samples were also analyzed for the presence of apoptotic nuclei by in situ labeling of 3'-OH ends of degraded nuclear DNA. RESULTS: The results showed: (i) interferon-gamma (IFN gamma) to be a potent inducer of apoptosis among oligodendrocytes in vitro and that this effect can be reversed by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF); (ii) IFN gamma has a minimal effect on the survival of cultured neurons; (iii) IFN gamma at the margins of active MS plaques but not in unaffected white matter; (iv) evidence for apoptosis of oligodendrocytes at the advancing margins of chronic active MS plaques. CONCLUSIONS: Injury to a substantial number of oligodendrocytes in MS is the results of programmed cell death rather than necrotic cell death mechanisms. We postulate that IFN gamma plays a role in the pathogenesis of MS by activating apoptosis in oligodendrocytes.
An infectious molecular clone of human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) was derived from an HTLV-I-transformed rabbit T-cell line, RH/K30, obtained by coculture of rabbit peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with the human HTLV-I-transformed cell line MT-2. The RH/K30 cell line contained two integrated proviruses, an intact HTLV-I genome and an apparently defective provirus with an in-frame stop codon in the env gene. A genomic DNA fragment containing the intact HTLV-I provirus was cloned into bacteriophage lambda (K30 phi) and subcloned into a plasmid vector (K30p). HTLV-I p24gag protein was detected in culture supernatants of human and rabbit T-cell and fibroblast lines transfected with these clones, at levels comparable to those of the parental cell line RH/K30. Persistent expression of virus was observed in one of these lines, RL-5/K30p, for more than 24 months. Biologic characterization of this cell line revealed the presence of integrated HTLV-I provirus, spliced and unspliced mRNA transcripts, and typical extracellular type C retrovirus particles. As expected, these virus particles contained HTLV-I RNA and reverse transcriptase activity. The transfected cells also expressed surface major histocompatibility complex class II, whereas no expression of this molecule was detected in the parental RL-5 cell line. Virus was passaged by cocultivation of irradiated RL-5/K30p cells with either rabbit PBMC or human cord blood mononuclear cells, demonstrating in vitro infectivity. The virus produced in these cells was also infectious in vivo, since rabbits injected with RL-5/K30p cells became productively infected, as evidenced by seroconversion, amplification of HTLV-I-specific sequences by PCR from PBMC DNA, and virus isolation from PBMC. Availability of infectious molecular clones will facilitate functional studies of HTLV-I genes and gene products.