Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is considered the etiologic agent or adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma and several chronic progressive immune-mediated diseases. Approximately 1-4% of infected individuals develop disease, generally decades following infection. Increased proviral transcription, mediated by the viral 40-kDa trans-activating protein, Tax, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of HTLV-l-associated diseases. Since the HTLV-1 promoter contains sequences responsive to cyclic AMP and protein kinase C, we hypothesized that lymphocyte activation signals initiated through the TCR/CD3 complex or CD2 receptor promote viral replication in HTLV-1-infected lymphocytes. We demonstrate that mAbs directed against the CD2, but not the CD3 receptor increase viral p24 capsid protein 1.5- to 5.7-fold in CD2/CD3+ HTLV1-infected cell culture supernatants. Northern blot analysis demonstrated a 2.5- to 4-fold increase in all species of viral mRNA following CD2 cross-linking of OSP2/4 cells, an immortalized HTLV-1 cell line. Consistent with transcriptional regulation, reporter gene activity increased approximately 11-fold in CD2-stimulated Jurkat T cells cotranslected with a Tax-expressing plasmid and a CAT reporter gene construct under control of the HTLV-1 promoter. These data suggest a possible physiologic mechanism, whereby CD2-mediated cell adhesion and lymphocyte activation may promote viral transcription in infected lymphocytes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases