p13II of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is an 87-amino-acid protein that is targeted to the inner mitochondrial membrane. p13II alters mitochondrial membrane permeability, producing a rapid, membrane potential-dependent influx of K+. These changes result in increased mitochondrial matrix volume and fragmentation and may lead to depolarization and alterations in mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake/retention capacity. At the cellular level, p13II has been found to interfere with cell proliferation and transformation and to promote apoptosis induced by ceramide and Fas ligand. Assays carried out in T cells (the major targets of HTLV-1 infection in vivo) demonstrate that p13II-mediated sensitization to Fas ligand-induced apoptosis can be blocked by an inhibitor of Ras farnesylation, thus implicating Ras signaling as a downstream target of p13II function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology