References of "Willems, Luc"
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See detailHow HTLV-1 may subvert miRNAs for persistence and transformation.
Bouzar, Amel ULg; Willems, Luc ULg

in Retrovirology (2008), 5

Distinct mechanisms are used by viruses to interact with cellular miRNAs. The role of microRNAs in viral replication and persistence ranges from viral-encoded microRNAs to suppressors of RNA interference ... [more ▼]

Distinct mechanisms are used by viruses to interact with cellular miRNAs. The role of microRNAs in viral replication and persistence ranges from viral-encoded microRNAs to suppressors of RNA interference. Viruses can also exploit cellular miRNAs for influencing cellular metabolism to ensure efficient replication or latency. In particular, two recent studies provide examples of how HTLV-1 may co-opt or subvert cellular miRNAs for persistent replication and oncogenic purposes. The pathways modulated by these described miRNAs are critically involved in apoptosis, proliferation and innate immune response. [less ▲]

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See detailReduction of B cell turnover in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Defoiche, Julien; Debacq, Christophe; Asquith, Becca et al

in British Journal of Haematology (2008), 143(2), 240-7

Whether chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is a latent or a proliferating disease has been intensively debated. Whilst the dogma that CLL results from accumulation of dormant lymphocytes is supported by ... [more ▼]

Whether chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is a latent or a proliferating disease has been intensively debated. Whilst the dogma that CLL results from accumulation of dormant lymphocytes is supported by the unresponsiveness of leukaemic cells to antigens and polyclonal activators, recent in vivo kinetic measurements indicate that B lymphocytes do divide at significant rates in CLL. However, an important and still unanswered question is whether CLL cells proliferate faster or slower compared with their normal counterparts. This report addressed directly this point and compared B-cell kinetics in CLL subjects and healthy controls, using a pulse-chase approach based on incorporation of deuterium from 6,6-(2)H(2)-glucose into DNA. We confirmed that B cells proliferated at significant levels in CLL but found that the proliferation rates were reduced compared with healthy subjects (mean 0.47 vs. 1.31%/d respectively, P = 0.007), equivalent to an extended doubling time of circulating B cells (147 d vs. 53 d). In conclusion, CLL B cells proliferate at reduced levels compared with healthy controls. CLL is thus characterized by an aberrant B-cell kinetics with a decrease in cell turnover, an observation that may impact on elaboration of efficient therapeutic strategies. [less ▲]

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See detailLe virus de la leucemie bovine et l'homeostasie du compartiment lymphocytaire peripherique.
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Kettmann, Richard ULg; Willems, Luc ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2007), 11(1),

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See detailMechanisms of leukemogenesis induced by bovine leukemia virus: prospects for novel anti-retroviral therapies in human.
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Boxus, Mathieu ULg et al

in Retrovirology (2007), 4(1), 18

In 1871, the observation of yellowish nodules in the enlarged spleen of a cow was considered to be the first reported case of bovine leukemia. The etiological agent of this lymphoproliferative disease ... [more ▼]

In 1871, the observation of yellowish nodules in the enlarged spleen of a cow was considered to be the first reported case of bovine leukemia. The etiological agent of this lymphoproliferative disease, bovine leukemia virus (BLV), belongs to the deltaretrovirus genus which also includes the related human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). This review summarizes current knowledge of this viral system, which is important as a model for leukemogenesis. Recently, the BLV model has also cast light onto novel prospects for therapies of HTLV induced diseases, for which no satisfactory treatment exists so far. [less ▲]

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See detailEven attenuated bovine leukemia virus proviruses can be pathogenic in sheep.
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Boxus, Mathieu ULg et al

in Journal of virology (2007), 81(18), 10195-200

Based on a reverse genetics approach, we previously reported that bovine leukemia virus (BLV) mutants harboring deletions in the accessory R3 and G4 genes persist at very low proviral loads and are unable ... [more ▼]

Based on a reverse genetics approach, we previously reported that bovine leukemia virus (BLV) mutants harboring deletions in the accessory R3 and G4 genes persist at very low proviral loads and are unable to induce leukemia or lymphoma in sheep, indicating that these R3 and G4 gene sequences are required for pathogenesis. We now show that lymphoma can occur, albeit infrequently (1 case of 20) and after extended periods of latency (7 years). Direct sequencing and reinfection experiments demonstrated that lymphomagenesis was not due to the reversion of the mutant to the wild type. Similar observations with another type of attenuated mutant impaired in the transmembrane protein (TM) YXXL signaling motifs were made. We conclude that the R3 and G4 genes and the TM YXXL motifs are not strictly required for pathogenesis but that their integrity contributes to disease frequency and latency. [less ▲]

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See detailCell dynamics and immune response to BLV infection: a unifying model
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Asquith, Becca 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 ▲]

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See detailValproic acid induces apoptosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells through activation of the death receptor pathway and potentiates TRAIL response.
Lagneaux, Laurence; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Stamatopoulos, Basile et al

in Experimental hematology (2007), 35(10), 1527-37

OBJECTIVE: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells develop chemoresistance over time associated with defects in apoptosis pathway. Novel treatment strategies are required to overcome resistance of cells ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells develop chemoresistance over time associated with defects in apoptosis pathway. Novel treatment strategies are required to overcome resistance of cells to commonly used agents. The effects of valproic acid (VPA), an antiepileptic drug with histone deacetylase inhibitory activity, on mononuclear cells isolated from 40 CLL patients were evaluated. METHODS: CLL cells were treated with increasing doses of VPA (0.5, 1, 2, and 5 mM). The mode of cytotoxic drug action was determined by annexin binding, DNA fragmentation, and caspase activation. RESULTS: Exposure of CLL cells to VPA resulted in dose-dependent cytotoxicity and apoptosis in the 40 CLL patients. VPA treatment induced apoptotic changes in CLL cells including phosphatidylserine externalization and DNA fragmentation. The mean apoptotic rates were similar between IgV(H) mutated and unmutated patients, the latter presenting a more aggressive clinical course. VPA induced apoptosis via the extrinsic pathway involving engagement of the caspase-8-dependent cascade. Although CLL cells are commonly resistant to death receptor-induced apoptosis, VPA significantly increased sensitivity of leukemic cells to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and led to downregulation of c-FLIP (L) expression. VPA caused no potentialization of TRAIL-induced apoptosis on normal B cells. In addition, VPA overcame the prosurvival effects of bone marrow stromal cells. CONCLUSION: These findings point out that the combination of TRAIL and VPA, at clinically relevant concentration, may be valuable in the treatment of CLL. [less ▲]

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See detailHistone deacetylase mediated transcriptional activation reduces proviral loads in HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis patients.
Lezin, Agnes; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Olindo, Stephane et al

in Blood (2007), 110(10), 3722-8

Epigenetic modifications of chromatin may play a role in maintaining viral latency and thus persistence of the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), which is responsible for HTLV-associated ... [more ▼]

Epigenetic modifications of chromatin may play a role in maintaining viral latency and thus persistence of the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), which is responsible for HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). A major determinant of disease progression is increased peripheral blood proviral load (PVL), possibly via the accumulation of infected cells in the central nervous system (CNS) creating a damaging inflammatory response. Current therapeutic approaches that focus on reducing either cell proliferation, viral replication, or tissue invasion are still unsatisfactory. Contrasting with these inhibitory strategies, we evaluated the efficacy of a novel approach aimed, paradoxically, at activating viral gene expression to expose virus-positive cells to the host immune response. We used valproate (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor that has been used for decades as a chronic, safe treatment for epileptic disorders. Based on in vitro and in vivo data, we provide evidence that transient activation of the latent viral reservoir causes its collapse, a process that may alleviate the condition of HAM/TSP. This represents the first such approach to treating HAM/TSP, using gene activation therapy to tilt the host-pathogen balance in favor of an existing antiviral response. This trial is registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov/as no. NCT00519181. [less ▲]

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See detailHomologies entre les deux retrovirus BLV et HTLV-1 et developpement d'une nouvelle approche therapeutique basee sur la levee de la latence virale.
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Kettmann, Richard ULg; Willems, Luc ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2007), 11(2),

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See detailLes chémokines et leurs récepteurs : rôle dans les infections virales et dans les pathologies cancéreuses
Burteau, C.; Willems, Luc ULg; Kettmann, Richard ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2007)

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See detailHuman T-cell leukemia virus type-1 Tax oncoprotein regulates G-protein signaling.
Twizere, Jean-Claude ULg; Springael, Jean-Yves; Boxus, Mathieu ULg 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 ▲]

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See detailPeripheral blood B-cell death compensates for excessive proliferation in lymphoid tissues and maintains homeostasis in bovine leukemia virus-infected sheep.
Debacq, Christophe; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Asquith, Becca et al

in Journal of Virology (2006), 80(19), 9710-9719

The size of a lymphocyte population is primarily determined by a dynamic equilibrium between cell proliferation and death. Hence, lymphocyte recirculation between the peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues ... [more ▼]

The size of a lymphocyte population is primarily determined by a dynamic equilibrium between cell proliferation and death. Hence, lymphocyte recirculation between the peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues is a key determinant in the maintenance of cell homeostasis. Insights into these mechanisms can be gathered from large-animal models, where lymphatic cannulation from individual lymph nodes is possible. In this study, we assessed in vivo lymphocyte trafficking in bovine leukemia virus (BLV)-infected sheep. With a carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester labeling technique, we demonstrate that the dynamics of lymphocyte recirculation is unaltered but that accelerated proliferation in the lymphoid tissues is compensated for by increased death in the peripheral blood cell population. Lymphocyte homeostasis is thus maintained by biphasic kinetics in two distinct tissues, emphasizing a very dynamic process during BLV infection. [less ▲]

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See detailSpleen-dependent turnover of CD11b peripheral blood B lymphocytes in bovine leukemia virus-infected sheep.
Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Asquith, Becca et al

in Journal of virology (2006), 80(24), 11998-2008

Lymphocyte homeostasis is determined by a critical balance between cell proliferation and death, an equilibrium which is deregulated in bovine leukemia virus (BLV)-infected sheep. We have previously shown ... [more ▼]

Lymphocyte homeostasis is determined by a critical balance between cell proliferation and death, an equilibrium which is deregulated in bovine leukemia virus (BLV)-infected sheep. We have previously shown that an excess of proliferation occurs in lymphoid tissues and that the peripheral blood population is prone to increased cell death. To further understand the mechanisms involved, we evaluated the physiological role of the spleen in this accelerated turnover. To this end, B lymphocytes were labeled in vivo using a fluorescent marker (carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester), and the cell kinetic parameters (proliferation and death rates) of animals before and after splenectomy were compared. We show that the enhanced cell death observed in BLV-infected sheep is abrogated after splenectomy, revealing a key role of the spleen in B-lymphocyte dynamics. [less ▲]

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See detailQuantifying lymphocyte kinetics in vivo using carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE).
Asquith, Becca; Debacq, Christophe; Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg et al

in Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences (2006), 273(1590), 1165-71

The cytoplasmic dye carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) is used to quantify cell kinetics. It is particularly important in studies of lymphocyte homeostasis where its labelling of cells ... [more ▼]

The cytoplasmic dye carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) is used to quantify cell kinetics. It is particularly important in studies of lymphocyte homeostasis where its labelling of cells irrespective of their stage in the cell cycle makes it preferable to deuterated glucose and BrdU, which only label dividing cells and thus produce unrepresentative results. In the past, experiments have been limited by the need to obtain a clear separation of CFSE peaks forcing scientists to adopt a strategy of in vitro labelling of cells followed by their injection into the host. Here we develop a framework for analysis of in vivo CFSE labelling data. This enables us to estimate the rate of proliferation and death of lymphocytes in situ, and thus represents a considerable advance over current procedures. We illustrate this approach using in vivo CFSE labelling of B lymphocytes in sheep. [less ▲]

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See detailThe homeobox protein MSX2 interacts with tax oncoproteins and represses their transactivation activity.
Twizere, Jean-Claude ULg; Lefebvre, Laurent; Collete, Delphine 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 ▲]

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See detailValproate activates bovine leukemia virus gene expression, triggers apoptosis, and induces leukemia/lymphoma regression in vivo.
Achachi, Amine; Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2005), 102(29), 10309-14

Leukemogenic viruses like human T-lymphotropic virus and bovine leukemia virus (BLV) presumably persist in the host partly by latent integration of the provirus in a fraction of infected cells, leading to ... [more ▼]

Leukemogenic viruses like human T-lymphotropic virus and bovine leukemia virus (BLV) presumably persist in the host partly by latent integration of the provirus in a fraction of infected cells, leading to accumulative increase in the outgrowth of transformed cells. Furthermore, viral infection also correlates with a blockade of the apoptotic mechanisms concomitant with an apparent latency of the host cell. Conceptually, induction of viral or cellular gene expression could thus also be used as a therapeutic strategy against retroviral-associated leukemia. Here, we provide evidence that valproate, an inhibitor of deacetylases, activates BLV gene expression in transient transfection experiments and in short-term cultures of primary B-lymphocytes. In vivo, valproate injection into newly BLV-inoculated sheep did not abrogate primary infection. However, valproate treatment, in the absence of any other cytotoxic drug, was efficient for leukemia/lymphoma therapy in the sheep model leading to decreased lymphocyte numbers (respectively from 25.6, 35.7, and 46.5 x 10(3) cells per mm3 to 1.0, 10.6, and 24.3 x 10(3) cells per mm3 in three leukemic sheep) and tumor regression (from >700 cm3 to undetectable). The concept of a therapy that targets the expression of viral and cellular genes might be a promising treatment of adult T cell leukemia or tropical spastic paraparesis/human T-lymphotropic virus-associated myelopathy, diseases for which no satisfactory treatment exists so far. [less ▲]

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See detailReduced cell turnover in lymphocytic monkeys infected by human T-lymphotropic virus type 1.
Debacq, Christophe; Heraud, Jean-Michel; Asquith, Becca et al

in Oncogene (2005), 24(51), 7514-23

Understanding cell dynamics in animal models have implications for therapeutic strategies elaborated against leukemia in human. Quantification of the cell turnover in closely related primate systems is ... [more ▼]

Understanding cell dynamics in animal models have implications for therapeutic strategies elaborated against leukemia in human. Quantification of the cell turnover in closely related primate systems is particularly important for rare and aggressive forms of human cancers, such as adult T-cell leukemia. For this purpose, we have measured the death and proliferation rates of the CD4+ T lymphocyte population in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) infected by human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). The kinetics of in vivo bromodeoxyuridine labeling revealed no modulation of the cell turnover in HTLV-1-infected monkeys with normal CD4 cell counts. In contrast, a substantial decrease in the proliferation rate of the CD4+ T population was observed in lymphocytic monkeys (e.g. characterized by excessive proportions of CD4+ T lymphocytes and by the presence of abnormal flower-like cells). Unexpectedly, onset of HTLV-associated leukemia thus occurs in the absence of increased CD4+ T-cell proliferation. This dynamics significantly differs from the generalized activation of the T-cell turnover induced by other primate lymphotropic viruses like HIV and SIV. [less ▲]

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See detailFate of premalignant clones during the asymptomatic phase preceding lymphoid malignancy.
Moules, Vincent; Pomier, Carole; Sibon, David et al

in Cancer Research (2005), 65(4), 1234-43

Almost all cancers are preceded by a prolonged period of clinical latency during which a combination of cellular events helps move carcinogen-exposed cells towards a malignant phenotype. Hitherto ... [more ▼]

Almost all cancers are preceded by a prolonged period of clinical latency during which a combination of cellular events helps move carcinogen-exposed cells towards a malignant phenotype. Hitherto, investigating the fate of premalignant cells in vivo remained strongly hampered by the fact that these cells are usually indistinguishable from their normal counterparts. Here, for the first time, we have designed a strategy able to reconstitute the replicative history of the bona fide premalignant clone in an animal model, the sheep experimentally infected with the lymphotropic bovine leukemia virus. We have shown that premalignant clones are early and clearly distinguished from other virus-exposed cells on the basis of their degree of clonal expansion and genetic instability. Detectable as early as 0.5 month after the beginning of virus exposure, premalignant cells displayed a two-step pattern of extensive clonal expansion together with a mutation load approximately 6 times higher than that of other virus-exposed cells that remained untransformed during the life span of investigated animals. There was no fixation of somatic mutations over time, suggesting that they regularly lead to cellular death, partly contributing to maintain a normal lymphocyte count during the prolonged premalignant stage. This equilibrium was finally broken after a period of 18.5 to 60 months of clinical latency, when a dramatic decrease in the genetic instability of premalignant cells coincided with a rapid increase in lymphocyte count and lymphoma onset. [less ▲]

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See detailInvolvement of glutathione as a mechanism of indirect protection against spontaneous ex vivo apoptosis associated with bovine leukemia virus.
Sanchez Alcaraz, Teresa; Kerkhofs, Pierre; Reichert, Michal et al

in Journal of virology (2004), 78(12),

Detailed reference viewed: 19 (7 ULg)