Human T-cell lymphoma/leukemia retroviruses and malignancy

  • Michael P. Sherman
  • Dipak K. Dube
  • Nitin K. Saksena
  • Bernard J. Poiesz
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 64)


The primate T-cell lymphoma/leukemia viruses (PTLVs) are a group of plus-sense, single-stranded, RNA-containing particles that reverse transcribe their genomes into DNA and subsequently integrate into the host chromosome as proviruses. The PTLVs are a subgroup of the Oncovirinae (oncornaviruses), which includes human T-cell lymphoma/leukemia viruses types I and II (HTLV-I and HTLV-II) and simian T-cell lymphoma virus type I (STLV-I). These retroviruses are linked antigenically and by sequence homology. In particular, they all possess not only the viral structural protein coding genes gag, for core proteins, pol for reverse transcriptase, integrase, and protease, and env for membrane proteins, but also tax and rex genes within a unique region known as the pX gene, which, through a series of mRNA splicing events, code for a transactivator protein (Tax) and a repressor of expression protein (Rex) (figure 5-1). The Tax and Rex proteins work in trans to control viral expression by acting upon regulatory regions within the long terminal repeats (LTRs) of the pro virus. The fact that these proteins control not only virus expression but also alter cellular gene expression has made them a subject of intense research and a model for carcinogenesis.


Mycosis Fungoides Hairy Cell Leukemia Tropical Spastic Paraparesis Mycosis Fungoides Patient 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael P. Sherman
  • Dipak K. Dube
  • Nitin K. Saksena
  • Bernard J. Poiesz

There are no affiliations available

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