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1.  Mechanisms of pathogenesis induced by bovine leukemia virus as a model for human T-cell leukemia virus 
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) and human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) make up a unique retrovirus family. Both viruses induce chronic lymphoproliferative diseases with BLV affecting the B-cell lineage and HTLV-1 affecting the T-cell lineage. The pathologies of BLV- and HTLV-induced infections are notably similar, with an absence of chronic viraemia and a long latency period. These viruses encode at least two regulatory proteins, namely, Tax and Rex, in the pX region located between the env gene and the 3′ long terminal repeat. The Tax protein is a key contributor to the oncogenic potential of the virus, and is also the key protein involved in viral replication. However, BLV infection is not sufficient for leukemogenesis, and additional events such as gene mutations must take place. In this review, we first summarize the similarities between the two viruses in terms of genomic organization, virology, and pathology. We then describe the current knowledge of the BLV model, which may also be relevant for the understanding of leukemogenesis caused by HTLV-1. In addition, we address our improved understanding of Tax functions through the newly identified BLV Tax mutants, which have a substitution between amino acids 240 and 265.
doi:10.3389/fmicb.2013.00328
PMCID: PMC3820957  PMID: 24265629
BLV; HTLV-1; EBL; B-cell lymphoma; Tax; leukemogensis; transactivation; apoptosis
2.  BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR: a useful tool for evaluating bovine leukemia virus infection status 
Background
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is associated with enzootic bovine leukosis, which is the most common neoplastic disease of cattle. BLV infects cattle worldwide, imposing a severe economic impact on the dairy cattle industry. Recently, we developed a new quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method using Coordination of Common Motifs (CoCoMo) primers to measure the proviral load of known and novel BLV variants in BLV-infected animals. Indeed, the assay was highly effective in detecting BLV in cattle from a range of international locations. This assay enabled us to demonstrate that proviral load correlates not only with BLV infection capacity as assessed by syncytium formation, but also with BLV disease progression. In this study, we compared the sensitivity of our BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR method for detecting BLV proviruses with the sensitivities of two real-time PCR systems, and also determined the differences of proviral load with serotests.
Results
BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR was found to be highly sensitive when compared with the real-time PCR-based TaqMan MGB assay developed by Lew et al. and the commercial TaKaRa cycleave PCR system. The BLV copy number determined by BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR was only partially correlated with the positive rate for anti-BLV antibody as determined by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, passive hemagglutination reaction, or agar gel immunodiffusion. This result indicates that, although serotests are widely used for the diagnosis of BLV infection, it is difficult to detect BLV infection with confidence by using serological tests alone. Two cattle were experimentally infected with BLV. The kinetics of the provirus did not precisely correlate with the change in anti-BLV antibody production. Moreover, both reactions were different in cattle that carried different bovine leukocyte antigen (BoLA)-DRB3 genotypes.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that the quantitative measurement of proviral load by BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR is useful tool for evaluating the progression of BLV-induced disease. BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR allows us to monitor the spread of BLV infection in different viewpoint compared with classical serotest.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-167
PMCID: PMC3489618  PMID: 22995575
Bovine leukemia virus; Real-time PCR; Proviral load; Serological test; Experimental infection
3.  Visualizing spatiotemporal dynamics of apoptosis after G1 arrest by human T cell leukemia virus type 1 Tax and insights into gene expression changes using microarray-based gene expression analysis 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:275.
Background
Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) Tax is a potent activator of viral and cellular gene expression that interacts with a number of cellular proteins. Many reports show that Tax is capable of regulating cell cycle progression and apoptosis both positively and negatively. However, it still remains to understand why the Tax oncoprotein induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, or whether Tax-induced apoptosis is dependent upon its ability to induce G1 arrest. The present study used time-lapse imaging to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of cell cycle dynamics in Tax-expressing HeLa cells containing the fluorescent ubiquitination-based cell cycle indicator, Fucci2. A large-scale host cell gene profiling approach was also used to identify the genes involved in Tax-mediated cell signaling events related to cellular proliferation and apoptosis.
Results
Tax-expressing apoptotic cells showed a rounded morphology and detached from the culture dish after cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. Thus, it appears that Tax induces apoptosis through pathways identical to those involved in G1 arrest. To elucidate the mechanism(s) by which Tax induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, regulation of host cellular genes by Tax was analyzed using a microarray containing approximately 18,400 human mRNA transcripts. Seventeen genes related to cell cycle regulation were identified as being up or downregulated > 2.0-fold in Tax-expressing cells. Several genes, including SMAD3, JUN, GADD45B, DUSP1 and IL8, were involved in cellular proliferation, responses to cellular stress and DNA damage, or inflammation and immune responses. Additionally, 23 pro- and anti-apoptotic genes were deregulated by Tax, including TNFAIP3, TNFRS9, BIRC3 and IL6. Furthermore, the kinetics of IL8, SMAD3, CDKN1A, GADD45A, GADD45B and IL6 expression were altered following the induction of Tax, and correlated closely with the morphological changes observed by time-lapse imaging.
Conclusions
Taken together, the results of this study permit a greater understanding of the biological events affected by HTLV-1 Tax, particularly the regulation of cellular proliferation and apoptosis. Importantly, this study is the first to demonstrate the dynamics of morphological changes during Tax-induced apoptosis after cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-275
PMCID: PMC3537563  PMID: 22726420
4.  Nuclear Exportin Receptor CAS Regulates the NPI-1–Mediated Nuclear Import of HIV-1 Vpr 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27815.
Vpr, an accessory protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1, is a multifunctional protein that plays an important role in viral replication. We have previously shown that the region between residues 17 and 74 of Vpr (VprN17C74) contained a bona fide nuclear localization signal and it is targeted VprN17C74 to the nuclear envelope and then imported into the nucleus by importin α (Impα) alone. The interaction between Impα and Vpr is important not only for the nuclear import of Vpr but also for HIV-1 replication in macrophages; however, it was unclear whether full-length Vpr enters the nucleus in a manner similar to VprN17C74. This study investigated the nuclear import of full-length Vpr using the three typical Impα isoforms, Rch1, Qip1 and NPI-1, and revealed that full-length Vpr is selectively imported by NPI-1, but not Rch1 and Qip1, after it makes contact with the perinuclear region in digitonin-permeabilized cells. A binding assay using the three Impα isoforms showed that Vpr bound preferentially to the ninth armadillo repeat (ARM) region (which is also essential for the binding of CAS, the export receptor for Impα) in all three isoforms. Comparison of biochemical binding affinities between Vpr and the Impα isoforms using surface plasmon resonance analysis demonstrated almost identical values for the binding of Vpr to the full-length isoforms and to their C-terminal domains. By contrast, the data showed that, in the presence of CAS, Vpr was released from the Vpr/NPI-1 complex but was not released from Rch1 or Qip1. Finally, the NPI-1–mediated nuclear import of Vpr was greatly reduced in semi-intact CAS knocked-down cells and was recovered by the addition of exogenous CAS. This report is the first to show the requirement for and the regulation of CAS in the functioning of the Vpr-Impα complex.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027815
PMCID: PMC3218035  PMID: 22110766

Results 1-4 (4)