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See detailHyper-replicative bovine leukemia virus by mutation of an envelope N-linked glycosylation site
De Brogniez, Alix ULg; Bouzar, Amel-Baya; Jacques, Jean-Rock ULg et al

in Retrovirology (2014), 11(1), 141

Reverse genetics can be used in the bovine leukemia virus (BLV) system to characterize mechanisms of viral persistence and pathogenesis. The question addressed here pertains to the role of glycans bound ... [more ▼]

Reverse genetics can be used in the bovine leukemia virus (BLV) system to characterize mechanisms of viral persistence and pathogenesis. The question addressed here pertains to the role of glycans bound to the BLV envelope glycoprotein (SU). A commonly accepted hypothesis is that addition of carbohydrates to the SU protein potentially creates a structure called « glycan shield » that confers resistance to the virus against the host immune response. On the other hand, glycosylation can also modulate attachment of the virus to the cell membrane. To unravel the role of SU glycosylation, three complementary strategies were developed: pharmacological inhibition of different glycosylation pathways, interference with glycan attachment and site-directed mutagenesis of N-glycosylation sites in an infectious BLV provirus. The different approaches show that glycosylation is required for cell fusion, as expected. Simultaneous mutation of all 8 potential N-glycosylation sites destroys infectivity. Surprisingly, mutation of the asparagine residue at position 230 creates a virus having an increased capacity to form syncytia in vitro. Compared to wild-type BLV, mutant N230 also replicates at accelerated rates in vivo. Collectively, this data thus illustrates an example of a N-glycosylation site that restricts viral replication, contrasting with the hypothesis supported by glycan shield model. [less ▲]

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See detailMassive Depletion of Bovine Leukemia Virus Proviral Clones Located in Genomic Transcriptionally Active Sites During Primary Infection
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Gutiérrez, Gerónimo; Rodriguez, Sabrina ULg et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2013), 9(10),

Deltaretroviruses such as human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and bovine leukemia virus (BLV) induce a persistent infection generally asymptomatic but can also lead to leukemia or lymphoma. These ... [more ▼]

Deltaretroviruses such as human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and bovine leukemia virus (BLV) induce a persistent infection generally asymptomatic but can also lead to leukemia or lymphoma. These viruses replicate by infecting new lymphocytes (i.e. the infectious cycle) or via clonal expansion of the infected cells (mitotic cycle). The relative importance of these two cycles in viral replication varies during infection. The majority of infected clones are created early before the onset of an efficient immune response. Later on, the main replication route is mitotic expansion of pre-existing infected clones. Due to the paucity of available samples and for ethical reasons, only scarce data is available on early infection by HTLV-1. Therefore, we addressed this question in a comparative BLV model. We used high-throughput sequencing to map and quantify the insertion sites of the provirus in order to monitor the clonality of the BLV-infected cells population (i.e. the number of distinct clones and abundance of each clone). We found that BLV propagation shifts from cell neoinfection to clonal proliferation in about 2 months from inoculation. Initially, BLV proviral integration significantly favors transcribed regions of the genome. Negative selection then eliminates 97% of the clones detected at seroconversion and disfavors BLV-infected cells carrying a provirus located close to a promoter or a gene. Nevertheless, among the surviving proviruses, clone abundance positively correlates with proximity of the provirus to a transcribed region. Two opposite forces thus operate during primary infection and dictate the fate of long term clonal composition: (1) initial integration inside genes or promoters and (2) host negative selection disfavoring proviruses located next to transcribed regions. The result of this initial response will contribute to the proviral load set point value as clonal abundance will benefit from carrying a provirus in transcribed regions. [less ▲]

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See detailMassive Depletion of Bovine Leukemia Virus Proviral Clones Located in Genomic Transcriptionally Active Sites During Primary Infection
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Gutiérrez, Gerónimo; Rodriguez, Sabrina et al

Conference (2013, June 29)

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See detailStrongyloidiasis and Infective Dermatitis Alter Human T Lymphotropic Virus-1 Clonality in vivo.
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Cook, Lucy; Laydon, Daniel J. et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2013), 9(4), 1003263

Human T-lymphotropic Virus-1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus that persists lifelong by driving clonal proliferation of infected T-cells. HTLV-1 causes a neuroinflammatory disease and adult T-cell leukemia ... [more ▼]

Human T-lymphotropic Virus-1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus that persists lifelong by driving clonal proliferation of infected T-cells. HTLV-1 causes a neuroinflammatory disease and adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. Strongyloidiasis, a gastrointestinal infection by the helminth Strongyloides stercoralis, and Infective Dermatitis associated with HTLV-1 (IDH), appear to be risk factors for the development of HTLV-1 related diseases. We used high-throughput sequencing to map and quantify the insertion sites of the provirus in order to monitor the clonality of the HTLV-1-infected T-cell population (i.e. the number of distinct clones and abundance of each clone). A newly developed biodiversity estimator called "DivE" was used to estimate the total number of clones in the blood. We found that the major determinant of proviral load in all subjects without leukemia/lymphoma was the total number of HTLV-1-infected clones. Nevertheless, the significantly higher proviral load in patients with strongyloidiasis or IDH was due to an increase in the mean clone abundance, not to an increase in the number of infected clones. These patients appear to be less capable of restricting clone abundance than those with HTLV-1 alone. In patients co-infected with Strongyloides there was an increased degree of oligoclonal expansion and a higher rate of turnover (i.e. appearance and disappearance) of HTLV-1-infected clones. In Strongyloides co-infected patients and those with IDH, proliferation of the most abundant HTLV-1(+) T-cell clones is independent of the genomic environment of the provirus, in sharp contrast to patients with HTLV-1 infection alone. This implies that new selection forces are driving oligoclonal proliferation in Strongyloides co-infection and IDH. We conclude that strongyloidiasis and IDH increase the risk of development of HTLV-1-associated diseases by increasing the rate of infection of new clones and the abundance of existing HTLV-1(+) clones. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide Determinants of Proviral Targeting, Clonal Abundance and Expression in Natural HTLV-1 Infection.
Melamed, Anat; Laydon, Daniel J.; Gillet, Nicolas ULg et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2013), 9(3), 1003271

The regulation of proviral latency is a central problem in retrovirology. We postulate that the genomic integration site of human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) determines the pattern of expression ... [more ▼]

The regulation of proviral latency is a central problem in retrovirology. We postulate that the genomic integration site of human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) determines the pattern of expression of the provirus, which in turn determines the abundance and pathogenic potential of infected T cell clones in vivo. We recently developed a high-throughput method for the genome-wide amplification, identification and quantification of proviral integration sites. Here, we used this protocol to test two hypotheses. First, that binding sites for transcription factors and chromatin remodelling factors in the genome flanking the proviral integration site of HTLV-1 are associated with integration targeting, spontaneous proviral expression, and in vivo clonal abundance. Second, that the transcriptional orientation of the HTLV-1 provirus relative to that of the nearest host gene determines spontaneous proviral expression and in vivo clonal abundance. Integration targeting was strongly associated with the presence of a binding site for specific host transcription factors, especially STAT1 and p53. The presence of the chromatin remodelling factors BRG1 and INI1 and certain host transcription factors either upstream or downstream of the provirus was associated respectively with silencing or spontaneous expression of the provirus. Cells expressing HTLV-1 Tax protein were significantly more frequent in clones of low abundance in vivo. We conclude that transcriptional interference and chromatin remodelling are critical determinants of proviral latency in natural HTLV-1 infection. [less ▲]

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See detailWIP1 deficiency inhibits HTLV-1 Tax oncogenesis: novel therapeutic prospects for treatment of ATL?
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Carpentier, Alexandre ULg; Barez, Pierre-Yves ULg et al

in Retrovirology (2012), 9(1), 115

Attenuation of p53 activity appears to be a major step in Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) Tax transformation. However, p53 genomic mutations are late and rather infrequent events in HTLV-1 ... [more ▼]

Attenuation of p53 activity appears to be a major step in Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) Tax transformation. However, p53 genomic mutations are late and rather infrequent events in HTLV-1 induced Adult T cell leukemia (ATL). The paper by Zane et al. shows that a mediator of p53 activity, Wild-type p53-induced phosphatase 1 (Wip1), contributes to Tax-induced oncogenesis in a mouse model. Wip1 may therefore be a novel target for therapeutic approaches. [less ▲]

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See detailChemoresistance to Valproate Treatment of Bovine Leukemia Virus-Infected Sheep; Identification of Improved HDAC Inhibitors
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Vandermeers, Fabian ULg; De Brogniez, Alix ULg et al

in Pathogens (2012), (2012-1), 65-82

We previously proved that a histone deacetylase inhibitor (valproate, VPA) decreases the number of leukemic cells in bovine leukemia virus (BLV)-infected sheep. Here, we characterize the mechanisms ... [more ▼]

We previously proved that a histone deacetylase inhibitor (valproate, VPA) decreases the number of leukemic cells in bovine leukemia virus (BLV)-infected sheep. Here, we characterize the mechanisms initiated upon interruption of treatment. We observed that VPA treatment is followed by a decrease of the B cell counts and proviral loads (copies per blood volume). However, all sheep eventually relapsed after different periods of time and became refractory to further VPA treatment. Sheep remained persistently infected with BLV. B lymphocytes isolated throughout treatment and relapse were responsive to VPA-induced apoptosis in cell culture. B cell proliferation is only marginally affected by VPA ex vivo. Interestingly, in four out of five sheep, ex vivo viral expression was nearly undetectable at the time of relapse. In two sheep, a new tumoral clone arose, most likely revealing a selection process exerted by VPA in vivo. We conclude that the interruption of VPA treatment leads to the resurgence of the leukemia in BLV-infected sheep and hypothesize that resistance to further treatment might be due to the failure of viral expression induction. The development of more potent HDAC inhibitors and/or the combination with other compounds can overcome chemoresistance. These observations in the BLV model may be important for therapies against the related Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating abundances of retroviral insertion sites from DNA fragment length data.
Berry, Charles C.; Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Melamed, Anat et al

in Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) (2012), 28(6), 755-62

MOTIVATION: The relative abundance of retroviral insertions in a host genome is important in understanding the persistence and pathogenesis of both natural retroviral infections and retroviral gene ... [more ▼]

MOTIVATION: The relative abundance of retroviral insertions in a host genome is important in understanding the persistence and pathogenesis of both natural retroviral infections and retroviral gene therapy vectors. It could be estimated from a sample of cells if only the host genomic sites of retroviral insertions could be directly counted. When host genomic DNA is randomly broken via sonication and then amplified, amplicons of varying lengths are produced. The number of unique lengths of amplicons of an insertion site tends to increase according to its abundance, providing a basis for estimating relative abundance. However, as abundance increases amplicons of the same length arise by chance leading to a non-linear relation between the number of unique lengths and relative abundance. The difficulty in calibrating this relation is compounded by sample-specific variations in the relative frequencies of clones of each length. RESULTS: A likelihood function is proposed for the discrete lengths observed in each of a collection of insertion sites and is maximized with a hybrid expectation-maximization algorithm. Patient data illustrate the method and simulations show that relative abundance can be estimated with little bias, but that variation in highly abundant sites can be large. In replicated patient samples, variation exceeds what the model implies-requiring adjustment as in Efron (2004) or using jackknife standard errors. Consequently, it is advantageous to collect replicate samples to strengthen inferences about relative abundance. [less ▲]

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See detailSafety of long-term treatment of HAM/TSP patients with valproic acid
Olindo, Stéphane; Belrose, Gildas; Gillet, Nicolas ULg et al

in Blood (2011), 118(24), 6306-6309

HTLV-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system induced by Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). As a potential ... [more ▼]

HTLV-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system induced by Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). As a potential therapeutic approach, we previously suggested reducing the proviral load (PVL) by modulating lysine deacetylase activity using valproic acid (VPA) and exposing virus-positive cells to the host immune response. We conducted a single-center, two-year open-label trial, with 19 HAM/TSP volunteers treated with oral VPA. PVL, CD38/HLA-DR expression and CD8+ lysis efficiency were not significantly affected by VPA. Mean scores of HAM/TSP disability did not differ between baseline and final visit. Walking Time Test (WTT) increased significantly (>20%) in 3 patients and was in keeping with minor VPA side effects (drowsiness and tremor). WTT improved rapidly after VPA discontinuation. We conclude that long term treatment with VPA is safe in HAM/TSP. [less ▲]

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See detailPreventive and Therapeutic Strategies for Bovine Leukemia Virus: Lessons for HTLV
Rodriguez, Sabrina ULg; Florins, Arnaud-Francois ULg; Gillet, Nicolas ULg et al

in Viruses (2011), 3(7), 1210-1248

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is a retrovirus closely related to the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). BLV is a major animal health problem worldwide causing important economic losses. A series of ... [more ▼]

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is a retrovirus closely related to the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). BLV is a major animal health problem worldwide causing important economic losses. A series of attempts were developed to reduce prevalence, chiefly by eradication of infected cattle, segregation of BLV-free animals and vaccination. Although having been instrumental in regions such as the EU, these strategies were unsuccessful elsewhere mainly due to economic costs, management restrictions and lack of an efficient vaccine. This review, which summarizes the different attempts previously developed to decrease seroprevalence of BLV, may be informative for management of HTLV-1 infection. We also propose a new approach based on competitive infection with virus deletants aiming at reducing proviral loads. [less ▲]

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See detailHTLV-1 propels thymic human T cell development in "human immune system" Rag2(-)/(-) gamma c(-)/(-) mice.
Villaudy, Julien; Wencker, Melanie; Gadot, Nicolas et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2011), 7(9), 1002231

Alteration of early haematopoietic development is thought to be responsible for the onset of immature leukemias and lymphomas. We have previously demonstrated that Tax(HTLV-1) interferes with ss-selection ... [more ▼]

Alteration of early haematopoietic development is thought to be responsible for the onset of immature leukemias and lymphomas. We have previously demonstrated that Tax(HTLV-1) interferes with ss-selection, an important checkpoint of early thymopoiesis, indicating that human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection has the potential to perturb thymic human alphabeta T-cell development. To verify that inference and to clarify the impact of HTLV-1 infection on human T-cell development, we investigated the in vivo effects of HTLV-1 infection in a "Human Immune System" (HIS) Rag2(-)/(-)gamma(c)(-)/(-) mouse model. These mice were infected with HTLV-1, at a time when the three main subpopulations of human thymocytes have been detected. In all but two inoculated mice, the HTLV-1 provirus was found integrated in thymocytes; the proviral load increased with the length of the infection period. In the HTLV-1-infected mice we observed alterations in human T-cell development, the extent of which correlated with the proviral load. Thus, in the thymus of HTLV-1-infected HIS Rag2(-)/(-)gammac(-)/(-) mice, mature single-positive (SP) CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells were most numerous, at the expense of immature and double-positive (DP) thymocytes. These SP cells also accumulated in the spleen. Human lymphocytes from thymus and spleen were activated, as shown by the expression of CD25: this activation was correlated with the presence of tax mRNA and with increased expression of NF-kB dependent genes such as bfl-1, an anti-apoptotic gene, in thymocytes. Finally, hepato-splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy and lymphoma/thymoma, in which Tax was detected, were observed in HTLV-1-infected mice, several months after HTLV-1 infection. These results demonstrate the potential of the HIS Rag2(-)/(-)gamma(c)(-)/(-) animal model to elucidate the initial steps of the leukemogenic process induced by HTLV-1. [less ▲]

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See detailThe host genomic environment of the provirus determines the abundance of HTLV-1-infected T-cell clones.
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Malani, Nirav; Melamed, Anat et al

in Blood (2011), 117(11), 3113-22

Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) persists by driving clonal proliferation of infected T lymphocytes. A high proviral load predisposes to HTLV-1-associated diseases. Yet the reasons for the ... [more ▼]

Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) persists by driving clonal proliferation of infected T lymphocytes. A high proviral load predisposes to HTLV-1-associated diseases. Yet the reasons for the variation within and between persons in the abundance of HTLV-1-infected clones remain unknown. We devised a high-throughput protocol to map the genomic location and quantify the abundance of > 91,000 unique insertion sites of the provirus from 61 HTLV-1(+) persons and > 2100 sites from in vitro infection. We show that a typical HTLV-1-infected host carries between 500 and 5000 unique insertion sites. We demonstrate that negative selection dominates during chronic infection, favoring establishment of proviruses integrated in transcriptionally silenced DNA: this selection is significantly stronger in asymptomatic carriers. We define a parameter, the oligoclonality index, to quantify clonality. The high proviral load characteristic of HTLV-1-associated inflammatory disease results from a larger number of unique insertion sites than in asymptomatic carriers and not, as previously thought, from a difference in clonality. The abundance of established HTLV-1 clones is determined by genomic features of the host DNA flanking the provirus. HTLV-1 clonal expansion in vivo is favored by orientation of the provirus in the same sense as the nearest host gene. [less ▲]

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See detailHow the genomic environment of the HTLV-1 provirus impacts on clone fitness
Gillet, Nicolas ULg; Malani, Nirav; Berry, Charles et al

Conference (2010, May)

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See detailLong-term treatment with valproic acid does not alleviate the condition of HAM/TSP
Olindo, S.; Belrose, G.; Lezin, A. et al

in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses (2009, July 01), 25(11), 21

Long-Term Treatment with Valproic Acid Does Not Alleviate the Condition of HAM/TSP Olindo, S.,1 Belrose, G.,2 Lezin, A.,2 Gillet, N.,3 Defoiche, J.,4 Rodriguez, S.,4 Signaté, A.,1 Verlaeten, O.,4 Smadja ... [more ▼]

Long-Term Treatment with Valproic Acid Does Not Alleviate the Condition of HAM/TSP Olindo, S.,1 Belrose, G.,2 Lezin, A.,2 Gillet, N.,3 Defoiche, J.,4 Rodriguez, S.,4 Signaté, A.,1 Verlaeten, O.,4 Smadja, D.,1 Césaire, R.,2 Willems, L.4 1Service de Neurologie and JE 2503, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Fort-de-France, 97200 Fort-de-France, Martinique, France; 2Laboratoire de Virologie-Immunologie and JE 2503, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Fort-de-France, 97200 Fort-de-France, Martinique, France; 3Department of Immunology, Imperial College, London, UK; 4Molecular and Cellular Biology, University Academia ‘‘Wallonie-Europe’’, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium. LW is Research Director of the FNRS. We previously proposed to interfere with proviral loads in HAM/TSP patients by modulating lysine deacetylase activity using valproic acid (VPA). The strategy aims at activating viral gene expression in order to expose virus-positive cells to the host immune response. We conducted a single-center, two-year open-label trial, with 19 HAM/TSP volunteers treated with oral doses of VPA (20mg/Kg/day). Objectives were to assess biological response and clinical safety to VPA treatment in HAM/TSP patients. By microarray analysis, we show that VPA treatment moderately stimulated expression of cyclinD2 and Rho GTPase activating protein 18 in CD4-T cells. CD8-mediated lysis efficiency of Tax-expressing cells was unaltered by VPA treatment. The CD4-T cell turnover rate was calculated by GC/MS analysis from quantitative incorporation of deuterium into DNA. Transient increase in proviral loads correlated with accelerated proliferation. After 2 years, the proviral loads reached levels similar to those before treatment. The main clinical side effects were drowsiness (52%), tremor (47%), digestive symptoms (37%), vertigo (26%), and alopecia (10%). The frequency of side symptoms tended to decrease over the trial course. The neurological status over the study constituted the primary clinical safety measures. Disability Status Scale, muscle testing score, Ashworth score, and urinary dysfunction score showed no significant changes. Walking Time Test (WTT) slightly varied over the study except in 3 patients in whom the WTT variation rates were>20%. These 3 patients experienced drowsiness and tremor and improved rapidly after treatment discontinuation. Together, these observations indicated that long term treatment with VPA is safe but does not alleviate the condition of HAM/TSP. [less ▲]

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See detailGene activation therapy: from the BLV model to HAM/TSP patients.
Lezin, Agnes; Olindo, Stephane; Belrose, Gildas et al

in Frontiers in Bioscience (Scholar Edition) (2009), 1

HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus type 1) and BLV (bovine leukemia virus) are two related retroviruses infecting CD4+ and B lymphocytes in humans and ruminants, respectively. During infection, the host ... [more ▼]

HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus type 1) and BLV (bovine leukemia virus) are two related retroviruses infecting CD4+ and B lymphocytes in humans and ruminants, respectively. During infection, the host-pathogen interplay is characterized by very dynamic kinetics resulting in equilibrium between the virus, which attempts to proliferate, and the immune response, which seeks to exert tight control of the virus. A major determinant of disease induction by both viruses is the accumulation of provirus in peripheral blood. In the absence of viral proteins, virus infected cells escape recognition and destruction by the host immune response. We propose a novel therapeutic strategy based on transient activation of viral expression using epigenetic modulators; this exposes infected cells to the immune response and results in significant reductions in proviral loads. In the absence of satisfactory therapies, this viral gene-activation strategy might delay progression, or even be curative, for HTLV-1 induced myelopathy / tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). [less ▲]

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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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