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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 detailInteraction of retroviral Tax oncoproteins with tristetraprolin and regulation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression.
Twizere, Jean-Claude ULg; Kruys, Veronique; Lefebvre, Laurent 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 ▲]

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See detailGenetic Determinants Of Bovine Leukemia Virus Pathogenesis
Willems, Luc ULg; Burny, A.; Collete, Delphine 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 ▲]

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See detailBovine leukemia virus as a model for human T-cell leukemia virus
Willems, Luc ULg; Burny, A.; Dangoisse, O. et al

in Current Topics in Virology (1999)

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