Human T-Cell Leukemia Viruses, T-Cell Leukemia and Aids
HTLV is the name we gave the first retrovirus isolates. Most of these are very closely related, and are called human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I). HTLV-I is endemic, but at low rates, in southern Japan, the Caribbean, South and Central America, the southeastern U.S., and especially Africa. Viruses closely related to, but distinct from, HTLV-I have been demonstrated in Old World monkeys. This finding, as well as seroepidemiology, led us to propose that HTLV originated in Africa. HTLV-I has been shown to be the direct cause of an aggressive form of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. The mechanisms which result in in vitro immortalization and in vivo malignancy are not yet known but apparently do not seem to involve visible consistent chromosomal changes, continuous expression of virus, or any of the known onc genes. Whatever the mechanism for growth induction in vitro by HTLV-I, its efficiency in causing malignancy may be because of its dual major effects on infected cells. These are: (1) immortalization of some T cells, especially those which are 0KT4+, and (2) abrogation of function and/or cytopathic changes in others. We have discovered a second class of human T-lymphotropic retroviruses (HTLV-II), in collaboration with D. Golde and colleagues. It shares many of the properties of HTLV-I but has major difference in the genome. It has been isolated only twice, once from a patient with hairy cell leukemia, and recently from a patient with AIDS. HTLV-III is the third member of the HTLV family.
KeywordsBovine Leukemia Virus Mycosis Fungoides Hairy Cell Leukemia Specific Integration Site Nucleic Acid Homology
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