Establishment of an interactomic map of the Ets factors family: Towards a better understanding of their roles in oncogenic processes
Rambout, Xavier ; ; et al
Poster (2011, April 29)
Ets transcription factors have been involved in several cancers such as leukemia, prostate cancer and Ewing’s sarcoma. They regulate the expression of genes controlling important biological processes such ... [more ▼]
Ets transcription factors have been involved in several cancers such as leukemia, prostate cancer and Ewing’s sarcoma. They regulate the expression of genes controlling important biological processes such as cellular proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, metastasis, and transformation. This family of transcription factors is characterized by its highly conserved DNA-binding domain called the ETS domain and members are classified into subfamilies based on sequence homology criterion. We built a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of the 27 Ets proteins and of their individual functional domains using a high-throughput yeast-two hybrid (Y2H) screening method. That Y2H network was expanded with confident literature-curated PPIs to obtain a comprehensive Ets interaction network. By considering connectivity between Ets interaction partners, we were able to segregate highly connected clusters of proteins from that network. Analysis of ontologies enrichment of those clusters enabled to confirm well-established roles and regulations of Ets factors, but also to suggest new ones. Biological validation of one precise cluster could be used as a rule of a thumb to globally confirm the bioinformatic analysis of our Ets PPI network and the potential physiological or pathological roles and regulation of Ets factors. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 26 (7 ULg)
Identification of a Brucella spp. secreted effector specifically interacting with human small GTPase Rab2.
; ; et al
in Cellular microbiology (2011), 13(7), 1044-58
Bacteria of the Brucella genus are facultative intracellular class III pathogens. These bacteria are able to control the intracellular trafficking of their vacuole, presumably by the use of yet unknown ... [more ▼]
Bacteria of the Brucella genus are facultative intracellular class III pathogens. These bacteria are able to control the intracellular trafficking of their vacuole, presumably by the use of yet unknown translocated effectors. To identify such effectors, we used a high-throughput yeast two-hybrid screen to identify interactions between putative human phagosomal proteins and predicted Brucella spp. proteins. We identified a specific interaction between the human small GTPase Rab2 and a Brucella spp. protein named RicA. This interaction was confirmed by GST-pull-down with the GDP-bound form of Rab2. A TEM-beta-lactamase-RicA fusion was translocated from Brucella abortus to RAW264.7 macrophages during infection. This translocation was not detectable in a strain deleted for the virB operon, coding for the type IV secretion system. However, RicA secretion in a bacteriological culture was still observed in a DeltavirB mutant. In HeLa cells, a DeltaricA mutant recruits less GTP-locked myc-Rab2 on its Brucella-containing vacuoles, compared with the wild-type strain. We observed altered kinetics of intracellular trafficking and faster proliferation of the B. abortusDeltaricA mutant in HeLa cells, compared with the wild-type control. Altogether, the data reported here suggest RicA as the first reported effector with a proposed function for B. abortus. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 5 (0 ULg)
The HTLV-1 Tax protein inhibits formation of stress granules by interacting with histone deacetylase 6.
; Boxus, Mathieu ; et al
in Oncogene (2011)
Human T cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is the causative agent of a fatal adult T-cell leukemia. Through deregulation of multiple cellular signaling pathways the viral Tax protein has a pivotal role ... [more ▼]
Human T cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is the causative agent of a fatal adult T-cell leukemia. Through deregulation of multiple cellular signaling pathways the viral Tax protein has a pivotal role in T-cell transformation. In response to stressful stimuli, cells mount a cellular stress response to limit the damage that environmental forces inflict on DNA or proteins. During stress response, cells postpone the translation of most cellular mRNAs, which are gathered into cytoplasmic mRNA-silencing foci called stress granules (SGs) and allocate their available resources towards the production of dedicated stress-management proteins. Here we demonstrate that Tax controls the formation of SGs and interferes with the cellular stress response pathway. In agreement with previous reports, we observed that Tax relocates from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in response to environmental stress. We found that the presence of Tax in the cytoplasm of stressed cells prevents the formation of SGs and counteracts the shutoff of specific host proteins. Unexpectedly, nuclear localization of Tax promotes spontaneous aggregation of SGs, even in the absence of stress. Mutant analysis revealed that the SG inhibitory capacity of Tax is independent of its transcriptional abilities but relies on its interaction with histone deacetylase 6, a critical component of SGs. Importantly, the stress-protective effect of Tax was also observed in the context of HTLV-1 infected cells, which were shown to be less prone to form SGs and undergo apoptosis under arsenite exposure. These observations identify Tax as the first virally encoded inhibitory component of SGs and unravel a new strategy developed by HTLV-1 to deregulate normal cell processes. We postulate that inhibition of the stress response pathway by Tax would favor cell survival under stressful conditions and may have an important role in HTLV-1-induced cellular transformation.Oncogene advance online publication, 2 May 2011; doi:10.1038/onc.2011.120. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 25 (9 ULg)
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) leakage from microbial biosensors provides useful information for the evaluation of the scale-down effect
Delvigne, Frank ; Brognaux, Alison ; Francis, Frédéric et al
in Biotechnology Journal (2011), 6Detailed reference viewed: 59 (32 ULg)
DNA cytosine methylation in the Bovine Leukemia Virus promoter is associated with latency in a lymphoma-derived B-cell line potential involvement of direct inhibition of cAMP-responsive element (cre)-binding protein/cre modulator/activation transcription factor binding
; ; et al
in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2010), 285(25), 19434-19449Detailed reference viewed: 25 (11 ULg)
Establishment of an interactomic map of the Ets factors family: Towards a better understanding of their roles in oncogenic processes
Rambout, Xavier ; Twizere, Jean-Claude ; Dequiedt, Franck
in Inserm Workshop: Interactomics: at the crossroads of biology and bioinformatics (2010, March)
Ets transcription factors play key roles in several cancers such as leukemia, prostate cancer and Ewing’s sarcoma. They regulate the expression of genes controlling biological processes such as cellular ... [more ▼]
Ets transcription factors play key roles in several cancers such as leukemia, prostate cancer and Ewing’s sarcoma. They regulate the expression of genes controlling biological processes such as cellular proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, metastasis, and transformation. This family is characterized by a highly conserved DNA-binding domain (ETS domain) and is classified into subfamilies according to sequence homology between the members. Using a high-throughput yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) method, we tested the interaction of the major splicing variants of the 28 human Ets factors and their functional domains of interest against the last available version of the human ORFeome (hORFeome v5.1). This screen has identified more than 200 new partners of Ets proteins. Further validation of these new interactions together with previously described interactions will enable a global evaluation of the regulation, and normal and cancerous roles of Ets factors. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 11 (0 ULg)
Protein-protein interactions and gene expression regulation in HTLV-1 infected cells.
Legros, Sébastien ; Boxus, Mathieu ; et al
in Frontiers in Bioscience : A Journal and Virtual Library (2009), 14
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) propagates in CD4 or CD8 T cells and, after extended latency periods of 30-50 years, causes a rapidly fatal leukemia called adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL ... [more ▼]
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) propagates in CD4 or CD8 T cells and, after extended latency periods of 30-50 years, causes a rapidly fatal leukemia called adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL). Infection with HTLV-1 is also associated with a degenerative neuromuscular disease referred to as tropical spastic paraparesis or HTLV-1-associated myelopathy. HTLV genome, in addition to the structural proteins and retroviral enzymes, codes for a region at its 3' end originally designated pX. The products of this region (Tax, Rex, p12I, p13II, p30II and HBZ) play important roles in deregulation of cellular functions by either directly disrupting cellular factors or altering transcription of viral and cellular genes. Here, we will review current knowledge of protein-protein interactions that regulate transcriptional functions of proteins encoded by the pX region. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 74 (16 ULg)
Protein Phosphatase 2a Controls The Activity Of Histone Deacetylase 7 During T Cell Apoptosis And Angiogenesis
Martin, Maud ; ; et al
in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2008), 105(12), 4727-4732Detailed reference viewed: 35 (14 ULg)
The HTLV-1 Tax interactome.
Boxus, Mathieu ; Twizere, Jean-Claude ; et al
in Retrovirology (2008), 5
The Tax1 oncoprotein encoded by Human T-lymphotropic virus type I is a major determinant of viral persistence and pathogenesis. Tax1 affects a wide variety of cellular signalling pathways leading to ... [more ▼]
The Tax1 oncoprotein encoded by Human T-lymphotropic virus type I is a major determinant of viral persistence and pathogenesis. Tax1 affects a wide variety of cellular signalling pathways leading to transcriptional activation, proliferation and ultimately transformation. To carry out these functions, Tax1 interacts with and modulates activity of a number of cellular proteins. In this review, we summarize the present knowledge of the Tax1 interactome and propose a rationale for the broad range of cellular proteins identified so far. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 63 (31 ULg)
Nucleolin binds specifically to an AP-1 DNA sequence and represses AP1-dependent transactivation of the matrix metalloproteinase-13 gene.
; Twizere, Jean-Claude ; et al
in Molecular Carcinogenesis (2008), 47(1), 34-46
Transcriptional regulation via activator protein-1 (AP-1) protein binding to AP-1 binding sites within gene promoter regions of AP-1 target genes plays a key role in controlling cellular invasion ... [more ▼]
Transcriptional regulation via activator protein-1 (AP-1) protein binding to AP-1 binding sites within gene promoter regions of AP-1 target genes plays a key role in controlling cellular invasion, proliferation, and oncogenesis, and is important to pathogenesis of arthritis and cardiovascular disease. To identify new proteins that interact with the AP-1 DNA binding site, we performed the DNA affinity chromatography-based Nucleotide Affinity Preincubation Specificity TEst of Recognition (NAPSTER) assay, and discovered a 97 kDa protein that binds in vitro to a minimal AP-1 DNA sequence element. Mass spectrometric fragmentation sequencing determined that p97 is nucleolin. Immunoblotting of DNA affinity-purified material with anti-nucleolin antibodies confirmed this identification. Nucleolin also binds the AP-1 site in gel shift assays. Nucleolin interacts in NAPSTER with the AP-1 site within the promoter sequence of the metalloproteinase-13 gene (MMP-13), and binds in vivo in chromatin immunoprecipitation assays in the vicinity of the AP-1 site in the MMP-13 promoter. Overexpression of nucleolin in human HeLa cervical carcinoma cells significantly represses AP-1 dependent gene transactivation of a minimal AP-1 reporter construct and of an MMP-13 promoter reporter sequence. This is the first report of nucleolin binding and transregulation at the AP-1 site. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 46 (1 ULg)
Cell dynamics and immune response to BLV infection: a unifying model
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ; Gillet, Nicolas ; et al
in Frontiers in Bioscience : A Journal and Virtual Library (2007), 12
Bovine Leukemia virus (BLV) is the natural etiological agent of a lymphoproliferative disease in cattle. BLV can also be transmitted experimentally to a related ruminant species, sheep, in which the ... [more ▼]
Bovine Leukemia virus (BLV) is the natural etiological agent of a lymphoproliferative disease in cattle. BLV can also be transmitted experimentally to a related ruminant species, sheep, in which the pathogenesis is more acute. Although both susceptible species develop a strong anti-viral immune response, the virus persists indefinitely throughout life, apparently at a transcriptionally silent stage, at least in a proportion of infected cells. Soon after infection, these humoral and cytotoxic activities very efficiently abolish the viral replicative cycle, permitting only mitotic expansion of provirus-carrying cells. Short term cultures of these infected cells initially indicated that viral expression protects against spontaneous apoptosis, suggesting that leukemia is a process of accumulation of long-lived cells. This conclusion was recently reconsidered following in vivo dynamic studies based on perfusions of nucleoside (bromodeoxyuridine) or fluorescent protein markers (CFSE). In sheep, the turnover rate of infected cells is increased, suggesting that a permanent clearance process is exerted by the immune system. Lymphocyte trafficking from and to the secondary lymphoid organs is a key component in the maintenance of cell homeostasis. The net outcome of the immune selective pressure is that only cells in which the virus is transcriptionally silenced survive and accumulate, ultimately leading to lymphocytosis. Activation of viral and/or cellular expression in this silent reservoir with deacetylase inhibitors causes the collapse of the proviral loads. In other words, modulation of viral expression appears to be curative in lymphocytic sheep, an approach that might also be efficient in patients infected with the related Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1. In summary, a dynamic interplay between BLV and the host immune response modulates a complex equilibrium between (i) viral expression driving (or) favoring proliferation and (ii) viral silencing preventing apoptosis. As conclusion, we propose a hypothetical model unifying all these mechanisms. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 177 (40 ULg)
Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 Tax oncoprotein regulates G-protein signaling.
Twizere, Jean-Claude ; ; Boxus, Mathieu et al
in Blood (2007), 109(3), 1051-60
Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is associated with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and neurological syndromes. HTLV-1 encodes the oncoprotein Tax-1, which modulates viral and cellular gene ... [more ▼]
Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is associated with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and neurological syndromes. HTLV-1 encodes the oncoprotein Tax-1, which modulates viral and cellular gene expression leading to T-cell transformation. Guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute the largest family of membrane proteins known and are involved in the regulation of most biological functions. Here, we report an interaction between HTLV-1 Tax oncoprotein and the G-protein beta subunit. Interestingly, though the G-protein beta subunit inhibits Tax-mediated viral transcription, Tax-1 perturbs G-protein beta subcellular localization. Functional evidence for these observations was obtained using conditional Tax-1-expressing transformed T-lymphocytes, where Tax expression correlated with activation of the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis. Our data indicated that HTLV-1 developed a strategy based on the activation of the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis in the infected cell; this could have tremendous implications for new therapeutic strategies. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 216 (40 ULg)
New Role For Hpar-1 Kinases Emk And C-Tak1 In Regulating Localization And Activity Of Class Iia Histone Deacetylases
Dequiedt, Franck ; Martin, Maud ; et al
in Molecular and Cellular Biology (2006), 26(19), 7086-102
Class IIa histone deacetylases (HDACs) are found both in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus where they repress genes involved in several major developmental programs. In response to specific signals, the ... [more ▼]
Class IIa histone deacetylases (HDACs) are found both in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus where they repress genes involved in several major developmental programs. In response to specific signals, the repressive activity of class IIa HDACs is neutralized through their phosphorylation on multiple N-terminal serine residues and 14-3-3-mediated nuclear exclusion. Here, we demonstrate that class IIa HDACs are subjected to signal-independent nuclear export that relies on their constitutive phosphorylation. We identify EMK and C-TAK1, two members of the microtubule affinity-regulating kinase (MARK)/Par-1 family, as regulators of this process. We further show that EMK and C-TAK1 phosphorylate class IIa HDACs on one of their multiple 14-3-3 binding sites and alter their subcellular localization and repressive function. Using HDAC7 as a paradigm, we extend these findings by demonstrating that signal-independent phosphorylation of the most N-terminal serine residue by the MARK/Par-1 kinases, i.e., Ser155, is a prerequisite for the phosphorylation of the nearby 14-3-3 site, Ser181. We propose that this multisite hierarchical phosphorylation by a variety of kinases allows for sophisticated regulation of class IIa HDACs function. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 42 (10 ULg)
The homeobox protein MSX2 interacts with tax oncoproteins and represses their transactivation activity.
Twizere, Jean-Claude ; ; et al
in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2005), 280(33), 29804-11
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) tax is an essential gene involved in the transcriptional activation of viral expression. Tax is also believed to be implicated in leukemogenesis because of its ability to ... [more ▼]
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) tax is an essential gene involved in the transcriptional activation of viral expression. Tax is also believed to be implicated in leukemogenesis because of its ability to immortalize primary cells in vitro. To gain insight into the molecular pathways mediating the activities of this important gene, we identified cellular proteins interacting with Tax. By means of a two-hybrid approach, we show that Tax specifically interacts with MSX2, a general repressor of gene expression. GST pull-down experiments and co-immunoprecipitation assays further confirmed binding specificity. Furthermore, the N-terminal residues 1-79 of MSX2 are required for binding, whereas the C-terminal residues 201-267 of MSX2 do not play a critical role. Whereas the oncogenic potential of Tax in primary cells was only slightly affected by overexpression of MSX2, the other function of Tax, namely LTR-dependent transcriptional activation, was inhibited by MSX2 in human HeLa and bovine B-lymphoblastoid (BL3) cell lines. This MSX2 repression function can be counteracted by overexpression of transcription factors CREB2 and RAP74. The Tax/MSX2 interplay thus results in repression of viral transcriptional activation possibly acting as a regulatory feedback loop. Importantly, this viral gene silencing is not strictly associated with a concomitant loss of Tax oncogenicity as measured by its ability to immortalize primary cells. And interestingly, MSX2 also interacts with and inhibits the transactivation function of the related Tax1 protein encoded by the Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1). [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 57 (25 ULg)
YB-1 represses AP1-dependent gene transactivation and interacts with an AP-1 DNA sequence.
; Twizere, Jean-Claude ;
in Biochemical Journal (2005), 388(Pt 3), 921-8
Involvement of the AP-1 (activator protein-1) transcription factor has been demonstrated previously in the regulation of cell proliferation and cell-cycle progression, in the control of cell migration ... [more ▼]
Involvement of the AP-1 (activator protein-1) transcription factor has been demonstrated previously in the regulation of cell proliferation and cell-cycle progression, in the control of cell migration, invasion and metastasis, and in signal transduction, stress responsiveness, DNA replication and DNA repair. YB-1 (Y-box-binding protein-1) has also been implicated in many of these processes. However, the mechanism by which YB-1 mediates these processes is poorly understood. In the present study, we report that overexpression of a transfected gene encoding YB-1 in human HeLa cervical carcinoma cells significantly represses the transactivation of a minimal AP-1 reporter construct in response to the tumour promoter PMA. YB-1 also represses mRNA expression and PMA-induced promoter transactivation of the endogenous AP-1 target gene encoding matrix metalloproteinase-12 (metalloelastase). YB-1 transrepression of both the minimal and matrix metalloproteinase-12 promoter reporter constructs is dependent on the AP-1 sequence. To identify new nuclear proteins that bind specifically to the AP-1 DNA-binding site, we devised a DNA-affinity-chromatography-based assay termed NAPSTER (nucleotide-affinity preincubation specificity test of recognition) and discovered a 49 kDa protein from human cancer cells that binds in a sequence-specific manner to the AP-1 DNA sequence. By tandem MS fragmentation sequencing analyses we determined that p49 is a YB-1. Immunoblotting of the NAPSTER-purified p49 protein using anti-YB-1 antibodies confirmed YB-1 binding to the AP-1 DNA sequence, as did gel mobility-supershift assays using YB-1 antibodies. This is the first report of YB-1 transrepression and interaction at the AP-1 DNA-binding site. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 57 (1 ULg)
Interaction of retroviral Tax oncoproteins with tristetraprolin and regulation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression.
Twizere, Jean-Claude ; ; et al
in Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2003), 95(24), 1846-59
BACKGROUND: The Tax oncoproteins are transcriptional regulators of viral expression involved in pathogenesis induced by complex leukemogenic retroviruses (or delta-retroviruses, i.e., primate T-cell ... [more ▼]
BACKGROUND: The Tax oncoproteins are transcriptional regulators of viral expression involved in pathogenesis induced by complex leukemogenic retroviruses (or delta-retroviruses, i.e., primate T-cell leukemia viruses and bovine leukemia virus). To better understand the molecular pathways leading to cell transformation, we aimed to identify cellular proteins interacting with Tax. METHODS: We used a yeast two-hybrid system to identify interacting cellular proteins. Interactions between Tax and candidate interacting cellular proteins were confirmed by glutathione S-transferase (GST) pulldown assays, co-immunoprecipitation, and confocal microscopy. Functional interactions between Tax and one interacting protein, tristetraprolin (TTP), were assessed by analyzing the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which is regulated by TTP, in mammalian cells (HeLa, D17, HEK 293, and RAW 264.7) transiently transfected with combinations of intact and mutant Tax and TTP. RESULTS: We obtained seven interacting cellular proteins, of which one, TTP, was further characterized. Tax and TTP were found to interact specifically through their respective carboxyl-terminal domains. The proteins colocalized in the cytoplasm in a region surrounding the nucleus of HeLa cells. Furthermore, coexpression of Tax was associated with nuclear accumulation of TTP. TTP is an immediate-early protein that inhibits expression of TNF-alpha at the post-transcriptional level. Expression of Tax reverted this inhibition, both in transient transfection experiments and in stably transfected macrophage cell lines. CONCLUSION: Tax, through its interactions with the TTP repressor, indirectly increases TNF-alpha expression. This observation is of importance for the cell transformation process induced by leukemogenic retroviruses, because TNF-alpha overexpression plays a central role in pathogenesis. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 44 (18 ULg)
Discordance between Bovine Leukemia Virus Tax immortalization in vitro and oncogenicity in vivo: generation of a rare CD8-positive B-lymphocyte leukemia by the TAX phosphorylation mutant.
Twizere, Jean-Claude ; ; et al
Poster (2000, May 26)Detailed reference viewed: 14 (1 ULg)
Genetic Determinants Of Bovine Leukemia Virus Pathogenesis
Willems, Luc ; ; et al
in Aids Research and Human Retroviruses (2000), 16(16), 1787-95
The understanding of HTLV-induced disease is hampered by the lack of a suitable animal model allowing the study of both viral replication and leukemogenesis in vivo. Although valuable information has been ... [more ▼]
The understanding of HTLV-induced disease is hampered by the lack of a suitable animal model allowing the study of both viral replication and leukemogenesis in vivo. Although valuable information has been obtained in different species, such as rabbits, mice, rats, and monkeys, none of these systems was able to conciliate topics as different as viral infectivity, propagation within the host, and generation of leukemic cells. An alternate strategy is based on the understanding of diseases induced by viruses closely related to HTLV-1, like bovine leukemia virus (BLV). Both viruses indeed belong to the same subfamily of retroviruses, harbor a similar genomic organization, and infect and transform cells of the hematopoietic system. The main advantage of the BLV system is that it allows direct experimentation in two different species, cattle and sheep. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 75 (19 ULg)
Discordance between bovine leukemia virus tax immortalization in vitro and oncogenicity in vivo.
Twizere, Jean-Claude ; ; et al
in Journal of Virology (2000), 74(21), 9895-902
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) Tax protein, a transcriptional activator of viral expression, is essential for viral replication in vivo. Tax is believed to be involved in leukemogenesis because of its second ... [more ▼]
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) Tax protein, a transcriptional activator of viral expression, is essential for viral replication in vivo. Tax is believed to be involved in leukemogenesis because of its second function, immortalization of primary cells in vitro. These activities of Tax can be dissociated on the basis of point mutations within specific regions of the protein. For example, mutation of the phosphorylation sites at serines 106 and 293 abrogates immortalization potential in vitro but maintains transcriptional activity. This type of mutant is thus particularly useful for unraveling the role of Tax immortalization activity during leukemogenesis independently of viral replication. In this report, we describe the biological properties of BLV recombinant proviruses mutated in the Tax phosphorylation sites (BLVTax106+293). Titration of the proviral loads by semiquantitative PCR revealed that the BLV mutants propagated at wild-type levels in vivo. Furthermore, two animals (sheep 480 and 296) infected with BLVTax106+293 developed leukemia or lymphosarcoma after 16 and 36 months, respectively. These periods of time are within the normal range of latencies preceding the onset of pathogenesis induced by wild-type viruses. The phenotype of the mutant-infected cells was characteristic of a B lymphocyte (immunoglobulin M positive) expressing CD11b and CD5 (except at the final stage for the latter marker), a pattern that is typical of wild-type virus-infected target cells. Interestingly, the transformed B lymphocytes from sheep 480 also coexpressed the CD8 marker, a phenotype rarely observed in tumor biopsies from chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients. Finally, direct sequencing of the tax gene demonstrated that the leukemic cells did not harbor revertant proviruses. We conclude that viruses expressing a Tax mutant unable to transform primary cells in culture are still pathogenic in the sheep animal model. Our data thus provide a clear example of the discordant conclusions that can be drawn from in vitro immortalization assays and in vivo experiments. These observations could be of interest for other systems, such as the related human T-cell leukemia virus type 1, which currently lack animal models allowing the study of the leukemogenic process. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 20 (10 ULg)