Publications by authors named "Yuetsu Tanaka"

216 Publications

Promoter CpG methylation inhibits Krüppel-like factor 2 (KLF2)-Mediated repression of hTERT gene expression in human T-cells.

Biochem Biophys Rep 2021 Jul 18;26:100984. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Human Gene Sciences Center, Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU), Tokyo, 113-8510, Japan.

Constitutive expression of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) with DNA methylation of its promoter is a common phenomenon in tumor cells. We recently found that the transcriptional factor Krüppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) binds to the CpG sequences in the hTERT promoter and inhibits hTERT gene expression in normal resting T-cells. The human T-cell line Kit 225 in the resting phase induced by the deprivation of interleukin (IL)-2 showed no decrease in the expression of hTERT, despite the high expression of KLF2. To elucidate the mechanisms of deregulation of hTERT expression in T-cells, we examined the relationship between DNA methylation and KLF2 binding to the hTERT promoter. The hTERT promoter was methylated in Kit 225 cells, resulting in the inhibition of the binding of KLF2 to the promoter. DNA demethylation by the reagent Zebularine recovered KLF2 binding to the hTERT promoter, followed by the downregulation of its gene expression. These findings indicate that the repressive effect of KLF2 on hTERT gene expression is abolished by DNA methylation in T-cell lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrep.2021.100984DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7980061PMC
July 2021

RLTPR Q575E: A novel recurrent gain-of-function mutation in patients with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma.

Eur J Haematol 2021 Feb 17;106(2):221-229. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Department of Hematology and Rheumatology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima, Japan.

Objectives: Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is an intractable T-cell malignancy caused by long-term infection with human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1). While ATL pathogenesis has been associated with HTLV-1-derived oncogenic proteins, including Tax and HBZ, the contribution of genomic aberrations remains poorly defined.

Methods: To elucidate the genomic basis of ATL, whole exome sequencing was performed on cells from 47 patients with aggressive ATL.

Results: We discovered the novel mutation RLTPR Q575E in four patients (8.5%) with a median variant allele frequency of 0.52 (range 0.11-0.68). Despite being reported in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, three ATL patients carrying RLTPR Q575E lacked skin involvement. Patients carrying RLTPR Q575E also harbored CARD11 (75%), PLCG1 (25%), PRKCB (25%), or IKBKB (25%) mutations related to TCR/NF-κB signaling. Jurkat cells transfected with RLTPR Q575E cDNA displayed increased NF-κB activity and significantly increased IL-2 mRNA levels under stimulation. RLTPR Q575E increased the interaction between RLTPR and CARD11, while RLTPR directly interacted with Tax.

Conclusions: We identified, and functionally validated, a novel gain-of-function mutation in patients with aggressive ATL. During TCR activation by Tax or gain-of-function mutations, RLTPR Q575E selectively upregulates NF-κB signaling and may exert oncogenic effects on ATL pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13540DOI Listing
February 2021

Development of a Unique T Cell Receptor Gene-Transferred Tax-Redirected T Cell Immunotherapy for Adult T Cell Leukemia.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 08 18;26(8):1377-1385. Epub 2020 Apr 18.

Division of Hematology, Saitama Medical Center, Jichi Medical University, Saitama, Japan; Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan. Electronic address:

Adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is an aggressive peripheral T cell neoplasm caused by infection with human T cell lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1). Its prognosis remains extremely poor. Tax, the most important regulatory protein for HTLV-1, is associated with the aggressive proliferation of host cells and is also a major target antigen for CD8 cytotoxic T cells (CTLs). Based on our previous findings that Tax-specific CTLs with a T cell receptor (TCR) containing a unique amino-acid sequence motif exhibit strong HLA-A*24:02-restricted, Tax-specific activity against HTLV-1, we aimed to develop a Tax-redirected T cell immunotherapy for ATL. TCR-ɑ/β genes were cloned from a previously established CTL clone and transduced into peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of healthy volunteers using a retroviral siTCR vector. Then the cytotoxic efficacy against HTLV-1-infected T cells or primary ATL cells was assessed both in vitro and in vivo. The redirected CTLs (Tax-siCTLs) produced a large amount of cytokines and showed strong killing activity against ATL/HTLV-1-infected T cells in vitro, although they did not have universal activity against ATL cells. Next, in a xenograft mouse model using an HTLV-1-infected T cell line (MT-2), in all mice treated with Tax-siCTLs, the tumor rapidly diminished and finally disappeared without normal tissue damage, although all mice that were untreated or treated with non-gene-modified PBMCs died because of tumor progression. Our findings confirm that Tax-siCTLs can exert strong anti-ATL/HTLV-1 effects without a significant reaction against normal cells and have the potential to be a novel immunotherapy for ATL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.04.006DOI Listing
August 2020

Proteomic profiling of HTLV-1 carriers and ATL patients reveals sTNFR2 as a novel diagnostic biomarker for acute ATL.

Blood Adv 2020 03;4(6):1062-1071

Laboratory of Hematoimmunology, Graduate School of Health Sciences, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Japan.

Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is a human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-associated T-cell malignancy with generally poor prognosis. Although only ∼5% of HTLV-1 carriers progress to ATL, early diagnosis is challenging because of the lack of ATL biomarkers. In this study, we analyzed blood plasma profiles of asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers (ACs); untreated ATL patients, including acute, lymphoma, smoldering, and chronic types; and ATL patients in remission. Through SOMAscan, expression levels of 1305 plasma proteins were analyzed in 85 samples (AC, n = 40; ATL, n = 40; remission, n = 5). Using gene set enrichment analysis and gene ontology, overrepresented pathways in ATL vs AC included angiogenesis, inflammation by cytokines and chemokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6)/JAK/STAT3, and notch signaling. In selecting candidate biomarkers, we focused on soluble tumor necrosis factor 2 (sTNFR2) because of its active role in enriched pathways, extreme significance (Welch's t test P < .00001), high discrimination capacity (area under the curve >0.90), and novelty in ATL research. Quantification of sTNFR2 in 102 plasma samples (AC, n = 30; ATL, n = 68; remission, n = 4) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed remarkable elevations in acute ATL, at least 10 times those of AC samples, and return of sTNFR2 to AC state levels after achieving remission. Flow cytometry and immunostaining validated the expression of TNFR2 in ATL cells. No correlation between sIL-2 and sTNFR2 levels in acute ATL was found, suggesting the possibility of sTNFR2 as an independent biomarker. Our findings represent the first extensive blood-based proteomic analysis of ATL, suggesting the potential clinical utility of sTNFR2 in diagnosing acute ATL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019001429DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7094015PMC
March 2020

Conservation of a Neutralization Epitope of Human T-cell Leukemia Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) among Currently Endemic Clinical Isolates in Okinawa, Japan.

Pathogens 2020 Jan 27;9(2). Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, 207 Uehara, Nishihara-cho, Okinawa 903-0215, Japan.

Approximately one-tenth of the 10 million individuals living with human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) worldwide live in Japan. Most of these infected individuals live in the southwest region of Japan, including Okinawa prefecture; however, currently no prophylactic vaccine against HTLV-1 infection is available. For preventing the HTLV-1 spread, we previously generated a humanized monoclonal antibody (hu-LAT-27) that mediates both neutralization and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). The neutralization epitope of LAT-27 is a linear amino acid sequence from residue 191 to 196 (Leu-Pro-His-Ser-Asn-Leu) of the HTLV-1 envelope gp46 protein. Here, we found that the LAT-27 epitope is well conserved among HTLV-1 clinical isolates prevalent in Okinawa. The hu-LAT-27 treatment inhibited syncytium formation by these clinical HTLV-1 isolates. Although an amino acid substitution at residue 192 in the LAT-27 epitope from proline to serine was found in a few HTLV-1 isolates, hu-LAT-27 could still react with a synthetic peptide carrying this amino acid substitution. These findings demonstrate the wide spectrum of hu-LAT-27 reactivity, suggesting that hu-LAT-27 may be a candidate drug for prophylactic passive immunization against HTLV-1 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9020082DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7168584PMC
January 2020

EOS, an Ikaros family zinc finger transcription factor, interacts with the HTLV-1 oncoprotein Tax and is downregulated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HTLV-1-infected individuals, irrespective of clinical statuses.

Virol J 2019 12 19;16(1):160. Epub 2019 Dec 19.

Department of Microbiology, Kawasaki Medical School, 577 Matsushima, Okayama, 701-0192, Japan.

Background: EOS plays an important role in maintaining the suppressive function of regulatory T cells (Tregs), and induces a regulated transformation of Tregs into T helper-like cells, which are capable of secreting proinflammatory cytokines in response to specific inflammatory signals. Meanwhile, significant reduction in Treg activity along with production of proinflammatory cytokines has been reported in patients with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP).

Methods: In this study, to examine whether there is an alteration in EOS expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) derived from HTLV-1-infected individuals especially HAM/TSP, we investigated the expression of HTLV-1 tax genotype, proviral load (PVL), and the mRNA expression of tax, HBZ and EOS in HTLV-1 infected individuals including adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), HAM/TSP, or asymptomatic carriers. The expression levels of EOS mRNA and protein in various HTLV-1-infected or uninfected human T-cell lines were also investigated.

Results: EOS was highly expressed at the protein level in most HTLV-1 infected T-cell lines, and was augmented after the HTLV-1 regulatory factor Tax was induced in a Tax-inducible JPX-9 cell line. Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated a physical interaction between EOS and the viral regulatory protein Tax, but not HBZ. Meanwhile, there was a significant decrease in EOS mRNA levels in PBMCs of HTLV-1 infected individuals irrespective of their clinical statuses. We found an inverse correlation between EOS mRNA levels and HTLV-1 PVL in ATL patients, and positive correlations between both EOS mRNA load and PVL, and EOS and HBZ mRNA load in HAM/TSP patients, whereas this correlation was not observed in other clinical statuses.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that both Tax and HBZ can alter the expression of EOS through undetermined mechanisms, and dysregulated expression of EOS in PBMCs of HTLV-1 infected individuals may contribute to the pathological progression of HTLV-1-associated diseases, such as ATL and HAM/TSP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12985-019-1270-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6923961PMC
December 2019

Targeting Excessive EZH1 and EZH2 Activities for Abnormal Histone Methylation and Transcription Network in Malignant Lymphomas.

Cell Rep 2019 11;29(8):2321-2337.e7

Department of Computational Biology and Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. Electronic address:

Although global H3K27me3 reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer, no effective therapeutic strategy for H3K27me3-high malignancies harboring EZH2 has yet been established. We explore epigenome and transcriptome in EZH2 and EZH2 aggressive lymphomas and show that mutual interference and compensatory function of co-expressed EZH1 and EZH2 rearrange their own genome-wide distribution, thereby establishing restricted chromatin and gene expression signatures. Direct comparison of leading compounds introduces potency and a mechanism of action of the EZH1/2 dual inhibitor (valemetostat). The synthetic lethality is observed in all lymphoma models and primary adult T cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATL) cells. Opposing actions of EZH1/2-polycomb and SWI/SNF complexes are required for facultative heterochromatin formation. Inactivation of chromatin-associated genes (ARID1A, SMARCA4/BRG1, SMARCB1/SNF5, KDM6A/UTX, BAP1, KMT2D/MLL2) and oncovirus infection (HTLV-1, EBV) trigger EZH1/2 perturbation and H3K27me3 deposition. Our study provides the mechanism-based rationale for chemical dual targeting of EZH1/2 in cancer epigenome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.10.083DOI Listing
November 2019

Flow cytometric methodology for the detection of de novo human T-cell leukemia virus -1 infection in vitro: A tool to study novel infection inhibitors.

J Virol Methods 2019 12 8;274:113728. Epub 2019 Sep 8.

Department of Biology & Hull York Medical School, University of York, UK. Electronic address:

Methodology to detect and study de novo human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV)-1 infection is required to further our knowledge of the viruses' mechanisms of infection and to study potential therapeutic interventions. Whilst methodology currently exists, utilisation of an anti-Tax antibody to detect de novo Tax expression in permissive cells labelled with cell tracker allowing for the detection by flow cytometry of new infection after co-culture with donor cell lines productively infected with HTLV-1 is an alternative strategy. Using this methodology, we have been able to detect de novo infection of the T cell line HUT78 following co-culture with the productively infected HTLV-1 donor cell line MT-2 and to confirm that infection can be effectively blocked with well characterised infection inhibitors. This methodology will benefit experimental studies examining HTLV infection in vitro and may aid identification of therapeutic agents that block this process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jviromet.2019.113728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6853161PMC
December 2019

Degradation of p47 by autophagy contributes to CADM1 overexpression in ATLL cells through the activation of NF-κB.

Sci Rep 2019 03 5;9(1):3491. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Division of Tumor and Cellular Biochemistry, Department of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan.

Cell adhesion molecule 1 (CADM1), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, is identified as a novel cell surface marker for human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV-1)-infected T cells. Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is developed in HTLV-1-infected T-cells after a long infection period. To examine the mechanism of CADM1 overexpression in ATLL, we first identified that CADM1 is transcriptionally up-regulated by a transcriptional enhancer element through NF-κB signaling pathway. In HTLV-1-infected T-cells, CADM1 expression is dependent on HTLV-1/Tax through activation of canonical and non-canonical NF-κB; however, in ATLL cells with frequent loss of Tax expression, the activation of canonical NF-κB only enhances the CADM1 expression. Along with active mutations in signaling molecules under T-cell recepor (TCR) signaling, degradation of p47, a negative regulator of NF-κB, was essential for activation of canonical NF-κB through stabilization of NEMO (NF-κB essential modulator). The mechanism of p47 degradation is primarily dependent on activation of lysosomal-autophagy and the autophagy is activated in most of the HTLV-infected and ATLL cells, suggesting that the p47 degradation may be a first key molecular event during HTLV-1 infection to T-cells as a connector of two important signaling pathways, NF-κB and autophagy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-39424-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6400899PMC
March 2019

Cell-cell and virus-cell fusion assay-based analyses of alanine insertion mutants in the distal α9 portion of the JRFL gp41 subunit from HIV-1.

J Biol Chem 2019 04 8;294(14):5677-5687. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

From the Research Center for Asian Infectious Diseases,

Membrane fusion is the first essential step in HIV-1 replication. The gp41 subunit of HIV-1 envelope protein (Env), a class I fusion protein, achieves membrane fusion by forming a structure called a six-helix bundle composed of N- and C-terminal heptad repeats. We have recently shown that the distal portion of the α9 helix in the C-terminal heptad repeat of X4-tropic HXB2 Env plays a critical role in the late-stage membrane fusion and viral infection. Here, we used R5-tropic JRFL Env and constructed six alanine insertion mutants, 641+A to 646+A, in the further distal portion of α9 where several glutamine residues are conserved (the number corresponds to the position of the inserted alanine in JRFL Env). 644+A showed the most severe defect in syncytia formation. Decreased fusion pore formation activity, revealed by a dual split protein assay, was observed in all mutants except 641+A. Sequence analysis and substitution of inserted 644A with Gln revealed that the glutamine residue at position 644 that forms complex hydrogen-bond networks with other polar residues on the surface of the six-helix bundle is critical for cell-cell fusion. We also developed a split NanoLuc® (Nluc) reporter-based assay specific to the virus-cell membrane fusion step to analyze several of the mutants. Interestingly syncytia-competent mutants failed to display Nluc activities. In addition to defective fusion activity, a reduction of Env incorporation into virions may further contribute to differences in cell-cell and virus-cell fusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA118.004579DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6462516PMC
April 2019

Association of high levels of plasma OX40 with acute adult T-cell leukemia.

Int J Hematol 2019 Mar 16;109(3):319-327. Epub 2019 Jan 16.

Laboratory of Hematoimmunology, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.

OX40, a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily, co-stimulates activated T cells following interaction with its own ligand OX40L. Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is an etiological agent of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL). ATL cells are known to express cell surface OX40; however, the level of soluble OX40 (sOX40) in blood samples from ATL patients is unknown. Quantitative enzyme-linked immune-sorbent assay (ELISA) showed that sOX40 levels were significantly higher in plasma from acute ATL patients than those from asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers and healthy donors, and correlated with sCD25 levels and HTLV-1 proviral loads in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Fresh PBMCs from acute ATL patients showed a higher percentage of OX40-positive cells compared with those from carriers, and shed sOX40 into culture supernatants. Shedding of sOX40 was partially inhibited by a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitor, GM6001. A fraction of sOX40 was capable of binding to OX40L. These results suggest that high levels of sOX40 are shed into blood from a large number of ATL cells in acute ATL patients. Thus, abnormally elevated plasma sOX40 levels may be useful as an additional diagnostic marker of acute ATL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12185-018-02580-zDOI Listing
March 2019

Epigenetic changes around the pX region and spontaneous HTLV-1 transcription are CTCF-independent.

Wellcome Open Res 2018 11;3:105. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, W2 1PG, UK.

The human retrovirus HTLV-1 inserts the viral complementary DNA of 9 kb into the host genome. Both plus- and minus-strands of the provirus are transcribed, respectively from the 5' and 3' long terminal repeats (LTR). Plus-strand expression is rapid and intense once activated, whereas the minus-strand is transcribed at a lower, more constant level. To identify how HTLV-1 transcription is regulated, we investigated the epigenetic modifications associated with the onset of spontaneous plus-strand expression and the potential impact of the host factor CTCF. Patient-derived peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and in vitro HTLV-1-infected T cell clones were examined. Cells were stained for the plus-strand-encoded viral protein Tax, and sorted into Tax and Tax populations. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and methylated DNA immunoprecipitation were performed to identify epigenetic modifications in the provirus. Bisulfite-treated DNA fragments from the HTLV-1 LTRs were sequenced. Single-molecule RNA-FISH was performed, targeting HTLV-1 transcripts, for the estimation of transcription kinetics. The CRISPR/Cas9 technique was applied to alter the CTCF-binding site in the provirus, to test the impact of CTCF on the epigenetic modifications. Changes in the histone modifications H3K4me3, H3K9Ac and H3K27Ac were strongly correlated with plus-strand expression. DNA in the body of the provirus was largely methylated except for the pX and 3' LTR regions, regardless of Tax expression. The plus-strand promoter was hypomethylated when Tax was expressed. Removal of CTCF had no discernible impact on the viral transcription or epigenetic modifications. The histone modifications H3K4me3, H3K9Ac and H3K27Ac are highly dynamic in the HTLV-1 provirus: they show rapid change with the onset of Tax expression, and are reversible. The HTLV-1 provirus has an intrinsic pattern of epigenetic modifications that is independent of both the provirus insertion site and the chromatin architectural protein CTCF which binds to the HTLV-1 provirus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.14741.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6305241PMC
December 2018

Distinct gene expression signatures induced by viral transactivators of different HTLV-1 subgroups that confer a different risk of HAM/TSP.

Retrovirology 2018 11 6;15(1):72. Epub 2018 Nov 6.

Department of Microbiology, Kawasaki Medical School, 577 Matsushima, Kurashiki, Okayama, 701-0192, Japan.

Background: Among human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-infected individuals, there is an association between HTLV-1 tax subgroups (subgroup-A or subgroup-B) and the risk of HAM/TSP in the Japanese population. To investigate the role of HTLV-1 subgroups in viral pathogenesis, we studied the functional difference in the subgroup-specific viral transcriptional regulators Tax and HBZ using microarray analysis, reporter gene assays, and evaluation of viral-host protein-protein interaction.

Results: (1) Transcriptional changes in Jurkat Tet-On human T-cells that express each subgroup of Tax or HBZ protein under the control of an inducible promoter revealed different target gene profiles; (2) the number of differentially regulated genes induced by HBZ was 2-3 times higher than that induced by Tax; (3) Tax and HBZ induced the expression of different classes of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs); (4) the chemokine CXCL10, which has been proposed as a prognostic biomarker for HAM/TSP, was more efficiently induced by subgroup-A Tax (Tax-A) than subgroup-B Tax (Tax-B), in vitro as well as in unmanipulated (ex vivo) PBMCs obtained from HAM/TSP patients; (5) reporter gene assays indicated that although transient Tax expression in an HTLV-1-negative human T-cell line activated the CXCL10 gene promoter through the NF-κB pathway, there was no difference in the ability of each subgroup of Tax to activate the CXCL10 promoter; however, (6) chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that the ternary complex containing Tax-A is more efficiently recruited onto the promoter region of CXCL10, which contains two NF-κB binding sites, than that containing Tax-B.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that different HTLV-1 subgroups are characterized by different patterns of host gene expression. Differential expression of pathogenesis-related genes by subgroup-specific Tax or HBZ may be associated with the onset of HAM/TSP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12977-018-0454-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6219256PMC
November 2018

Viral antigens detectable in CSF exosomes from patients with retrovirus associated neurologic disease: functional role of exosomes.

Clin Transl Med 2018 Aug 27;7(1):24. Epub 2018 Aug 27.

Viral Immunology Section, Neuroimmunology Branch, National Institute for Neurological Disease and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive Rm 5C103, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.

Background: HTLV-1 infects over 20 million people worldwide and causes a progressive neuroinflammatory disorder in a subset of infected individuals called HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). The detection of HTLV-1 specific T cells in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) suggests this disease is immunopathologically mediated and that it may be driven by viral antigens. Exosomes are microvesicles originating from the endosomal compartment that are shed into the extracellular space by various cell types. It is now understood that several viruses take advantage of this mode of intercellular communication for packaging of viral components as well. We sought to understand if this is the case in HTLV-1 infection, and specifically if HTLV-1 proteins can be found in the CSF of HAM/TSP patients where we know free virus is absent, and furthermore, if exosomes containing HTLV-1 Tax have functional consequences.

Results: Exosomes that were positive for HTLV-1 Tax by Western blot were isolated from HAM/TSP patient PBMCs (25/36) in ex vivo cultures by trapping exosomes from culture supernatants. HTLV-1 seronegative PBMCs did not have exosomes with Tax (0/12), (Fisher exact test, p = 0.0001). We were able to observe HAM/TSP patient CSF (12/20) containing Tax exosomes but not in HTLV-1 seronegative MS donors (0/5), despite the absence of viral detection in the CSF supernatant (Fisher exact test p = 0.0391). Furthermore, exosomes cultivated from HAM/TSP PBMCs were capable of sensitizing target cells for HTLV-1 specific CTL lysis.

Conclusion: Cumulatively, these results show that there are HTLV-1 proteins present in exosomes found in virus-free CSF. HAM/TSP PBMCs, particularly CD4CD25 T cells, can excrete these exosomes containing HTLV-1 Tax and may be a source of the exosomes found in patient CSF. Importantly, these exosomes are capable of sensitizing an HTLV-1 specific immune response, suggesting that they may play a role in the immunopathology observed in HAM/TSP. Given the infiltration of HTLV-1 Tax-specific CTLs into the CNS of HAM/TSP patients, it is likely that exosomes may also contribute to the continuous activation and inflammation observed in HAM/TSP, and may suggest future targeted therapies in this disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40169-018-0204-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6110307PMC
August 2018

Immunophenotypic characterization of CSF B cells in virus-associated neuroinflammatory diseases.

PLoS Pathog 2018 04 30;14(4):e1007042. Epub 2018 Apr 30.

Viral Immunology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States of America.

Intrathecal antibody synthesis is a well-documented phenomenon in infectious neurological diseases as well as in demyelinating diseases, but little is known about the role of B cells in the central nervous systems. We examined B cell and T cell immunophenotypes in CSF of patients with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) compared to healthy normal donors and subjects with the other chronic virus infection and/or neuroinflammatory diseases including HIV infection, multiple sclerosis (MS) and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Antibody secreting B cells (ASCs) were elevated in HAM/TSP patients, which was significantly correlated with intrathecal HTLV-1-specific antibody responses. High frequency of ASCs was also detected in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). While RRMS patients showed significant correlations between ASCs and memory follicular helper CD4+ T cells, CD4+CD25+ T cells were elevated in HAM/TSP patients, which were significantly correlated with ASCs and HTLV-1 proviral load. These results highlight the importance of the B cell compartment and the associated inflammatory milieu in HAM/TSP patients where virus-specific antibody production may be required to control viral persistence and/or may be associated with disease development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5945224PMC
April 2018

Pseudotyping of HIV-1 with Human T-Lymphotropic Virus 1 (HTLV-1) Envelope Glycoprotein during HIV-1-HTLV-1 Coinfection Facilitates Direct HIV-1 Infection of Female Genital Epithelial Cells: Implications for Sexual Transmission of HIV-1.

mSphere 2018 04 4;3(2). Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California-Davis, Davis, California, USA

Female genital epithelial cells cover the genital tract and provide the first line of protection against infection with sexually transmitted pathogenic viruses. These cells normally are impervious to HIV-1. We report that coinfection of cells by HIV-1 and another sexually transmitted virus, human T-lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1), led to production of HIV-1 that had expanded cell tropism and was able to directly infect primary vaginal and cervical epithelial cells. HIV-1 infection of epithelial cells was blocked by neutralizing antibodies against the HTLV-1 envelope (Env) protein, indicating that the infection was mediated through HTLV-1 Env pseudotyping of HIV-1. Active replication of HIV-1 in epithelial cells was demonstrated by inhibition with anti-HIV-1 drugs. We demonstrated that HIV-1 derived from peripheral blood of HIV-1-HTLV-1-coinfected subjects could infect primary epithelial cells in an HTLV-1 Env-dependent manner. HIV-1 from subjects infected with HIV-1 alone was not able to infect epithelial cells. These results indicate that pseudotyping of HIV-1 with HTLV-1 Env can occur Our data further reveal that active replication of both HTLV-1 and HIV-1 is required for production of pseudotyped HIV-1. Our findings indicate that pseudotyping of HIV-1 with HTLV-1 Env in coinfected cells enabled HIV-1 to directly infect nonpermissive female genital epithelial cells. This phenomenon may represent a risk factor for enhanced sexual transmission of HIV-1 in regions where virus coinfection is common. Young women in certain regions of the world are at very high risk of acquiring HIV-1, and there is an urgent need to identify the factors that promote HIV-1 transmission. HIV-1 infection is frequently accompanied by infection with other pathogenic viruses. We demonstrate that coinfection of cells by HIV-1 and HTLV-1 can lead to production of HIV-1 pseudotyped with HTLV-1 Env that is able to directly infect female genital epithelial cells both and Given the function of these epithelial cells as genital mucosal barriers to pathogenic virus transmission, the ability of HIV-1 pseudotyped with HTLV-1 Env to directly infect female genital epithelial cells represents a possible factor for increased risk of sexual transmission of HIV-1. This mechanism could be especially impactful in settings such as Sub-Saharan Africa and South America, where HIV-1 and HTLV-1 are both highly prevalent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00038-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885023PMC
April 2018

Production and characterization of a novel site-specific-modifiable anti-OX40-receptor single-chain variable fragment for targeted drug delivery.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2018 02 9;496(2):614-620. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Department of Computational Biology and Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Advanced Medical Innovation, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan. Electronic address:

OX40 receptor (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 4; CD134) is a T-cell co-stimulatory molecule that plays an important role in T-cell activation and survival. OX40 receptor is activated by its ligand, OX40L; and modulation of the OX40-OX40L interaction is a promising target for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancers. Here, we generated a high-affinity anti-OX40 single-chain variable fragment carrying a C-terminal cysteine residue (scFvC). Physicochemical and functional analyses revealed that the scFvC bound to OX40-expressing cells and was internalized via OX40-mediated endocytosis without inducing phosphorylation of IκBα (nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha), an important complex in the classical NFκB (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells) signaling pathway. In addition, mutation of the 36th cysteine residue in variable region of light chain enabled site-specific chemical modification to carboxy terminal cysteine and improved the thermal stability of the scFvC. These results suggest that this novel high-affinity anti-OX40 scFvC may be useful as a transporter for targeted delivery of small compounds, proteins, peptides, liposomes, and nanoparticles, into OX40-expressing cells for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.01.051DOI Listing
February 2018

Control of Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) Infection by Eliminating Envelope Protein-Positive Cells with Recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis Viruses Encoding HTLV-1 Primary Receptor.

J Virol 2018 02 30;92(4). Epub 2018 Jan 30.

Department of Safety Research on Blood and Biological Products, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan

Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection causes adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), which is frequently resistant to currently available therapies and has a very poor prognosis. To prevent the development of ATL among carriers, it is important to control HTLV-1-infected cells in infected individuals. Therefore, the establishment of novel therapies with drugs specifically targeting infected cells is urgently required. This study aimed to develop a potential therapy by generating recombinant vesicular stomatitis viruses (rVSVs) that lack an envelope glycoprotein G and instead encode an HTLV-1 receptor with human glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), neuropilin 1 (NRP1), or heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), including syndecan 1 (SDC1), designated VSVΔG-GL, VSVΔG-NP, or VSVΔG-SD, respectively. In an attempt to enhance the infectivity of rVSV against HTLV-1-infected cells, we also constructed rVSVs with a combination of two or three receptor genes, designated VSVΔG-GLN and VSVΔG-GLNS, respectively. The present study demonstrates VSVΔG-GL, VSVΔG-NP, VSVΔG-GLN, and VSVΔG-GLNS have tropism for HTLV-1 envelope (Env)-expressing cells. Notably, the inoculation of VSVΔG-GL or VSVΔG-NP significantly eliminated HTLV-1-infected cells under the culture conditions. Furthermore, in an HTLV-1-infected humanized mouse model, VSVΔG-NP was capable of efficiently preventing HTLV-1-induced leukocytosis in the periphery and eliminating HTLV-1-infected Env-expressing cells in the lymphoid tissues. In summary, an rVSV engineered to express HTLV-1 primary receptor, especially human NRP1, may represent a drug candidate that has potential for the development of unique virotherapy against HTLV-1 infection. Although several anti-ATL therapies are currently available, ATL is still frequently resistant to therapeutic approaches, and its prognosis remains poor. Control of HTLV-1 infection or expansion of HTLV-1-infected cells in the carrier holds considerable promise for the prevention of ATL development. In this study, we developed rVSVs that specifically target and kill HTLV-1 Env-expressing cells (not ATL cells, which generally do not express Env ) through replacement of the G gene with HTLV-1 receptor gene(s) in the VSV genome. Notably, an rVSV engineered to express human NRP1 controlled the number of HTLV-1-infected Env-expressing cells and , suggesting the present approach may be a promising candidate for novel anti-HTLV-1 virotherapy in HTLV-1 carriers, including as a prophylactic treatment against the development of ATL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01885-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5790936PMC
February 2018

The CC chemokine ligand (CCL) 1, upregulated by the viral transactivator Tax, can be downregulated by minocycline: possible implications for long-term treatment of HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis.

Virol J 2017 12 4;14(1):234. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Department of Neurology and Geriatrics, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima, 890-8520, Japan.

Background: Chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 1 (CCL1) is produced by activated monocytes/ macrophages and T-lymphocytes, and acts as a potent attractant for Th2 cells and a subset of T-regulatory (Treg) cells. Previous reports have indicated that CCL1 is overexpressed in adult T-cell leukemia cells, mediating an autocrine anti-apoptotic loop. Because CCL1 is also known as a potent chemoattractant that plays a major role in inflammatory processes, we investigated the role of CCL1 in the pathogenesis of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP).

Results: The results showed that: (1) CCL1 was preferentially expressed in HAM/TSP-derived HTLV-1-infected T-cell lines, (2) CCL1 expression was induced along with Tax expression in the Tax-inducible T-cell line JPX9, (3) transient Tax expression in an HTLV-1-negative T-cell line activated the CCL1 gene promoter, (4) plasma levels of CCL1 were significantly higher in patients with HAM/TSP than in HTLV-1-seronegative patients with multiple sclerosis and HTLV-1-infected asymptomatic healthy carriers, and (5) minocycline inhibited the production of CCL1 in HTLV-1-infected T-cell lines.

Conclusions: The present results suggest that elevated CCL1 levels may be associated with the pathogenesis of HAM/TSP. Although further studies are required to determine the in vivo significance, minocycline may be considered as a potential candidate for the long-term treatment of HAM/TSP via its anti-inflammatory effects, which includes the inhibition of CCL1 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12985-017-0902-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5715538PMC
December 2017

MAGI-1 expression is decreased in several types of human T-cell leukemia cell lines, including adult T-cell leukemia.

Int J Hematol 2018 Mar 17;107(3):337-344. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Division of Virology, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 1-757 Asahimachi-Dori, Niigata, Niigata, 951-8510, Japan.

Membrane-associated guanylate kinase with inverted orientation protein 1 (MAGI-1) is a cytoplasmic scaffold protein that interacts with various signaling molecules; it negatively controls the cell growth of various types of cells and positively controls cell-cell interaction. In T cells, MAGI-1 has been shown to inhibit Akt activity through its interaction with PTEN and MEK1. In this study we found that MAGI-1 expression is decreased in multiple (9 out of 15) human T-cell leukemia cell lines, including adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and chronic T-cell lymphocytic leukemia. The overexpression of MAGI-1 protein in a MAGI-1-low ATL cell line reduced cellular growth. While the overexpression of MAGI-1 protein in a MAGI-1-low ATL cell line reduced the Akt and MEK activities, the knockdown of MAGI-1 in a MAGI-1-high ATL cell line augmented the Akt and MEK activities. Collectively, the findings of the present study suggest that the decreased expression of MAGI-1 in human T cells contributes to the development of several types of T-cell leukemia, partly through the stimulation of the Akt and MEK pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12185-017-2359-1DOI Listing
March 2018

IL-10-mediated signals act as a switch for lymphoproliferation in Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 infection by activating the STAT3 and IRF4 pathways.

PLoS Pathog 2017 Sep 14;13(9):e1006597. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

Department of Immunotherapeutics, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) causes two distinct diseases, adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Since there are no disease-specific differences among HTLV-1 strains, the etiological mechanisms separating these respective lymphoproliferative and inflammatory diseases are not well understood. In this study, by using IL-2-dependent HTLV-1-infected T-cell lines (ILTs) established from patients with ATL and HAM/TSP, we demonstrate that the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and its downstream signals potentially act as a switch for proliferation in HTLV-1-infected cells. Among six ILTs used, ILTs derived from all three ATL patients grew much faster than those from three HAM/TSP patients. Although most of the ILTs tested produced IFN-γ and IL-6, the production of IL-10 was preferentially observed in the rapid-growing ILTs. Interestingly, treatment with exogenous IL-10 markedly enhanced proliferation of the slow-growing HAM/TSP-derived ILTs. The IL-10-mediated proliferation of these ILTs was associated with phosphorylation of STAT3 and induction of survivin and IRF4, all of which are characteristics of ATL cells. Knockdown of STAT3 reduced expression of IL-10, implying a positive-feedback regulation between STAT3 and IL-10. STAT3 knockdown also reduced survivin and IRF4 in the IL-10- producing or IL-10- treated ILTs. IRF4 knockdown further suppressed survivin expression and the cell growth in these ILTs. These findings indicate that the IL-10-mediated signals promote cell proliferation in HTLV-1-infected cells through the STAT3 and IRF4 pathways. Our results imply that, although HTLV-1 infection alone may not be sufficient for cell proliferation, IL-10 and its signaling pathways within the infected cell itself and/or its surrounding microenvironment may play a critical role in pushing HTLV-1-infected cells towards proliferation at the early stages of HTLV-1 leukemogenesis. This study provides useful information for understanding of disease mechanisms and disease-prophylactic strategies in HTLV-1 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006597DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5614654PMC
September 2017

Human T-cell leukemia virus type I Tax genotype analysis in Okinawa, the southernmost and remotest islands of Japan: Different distributions compared with mainland Japan and the potential value for the prognosis of aggressive adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma.

Leuk Res 2017 10 18;61:18-24. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

Laboratory of Hematoimmunology, Graduate School of Health Sciences, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Japan. Electronic address:

Okinawa, comprising remote islands off the mainland of Japan, is an endemic area of human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-1), the causative virus of adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATL) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy (HAM). We investigated the tax genotype of HTLV-1 among 29 HTLV-1 carriers, 74 ATL patients, and 33 HAM patients in Okinawa. The genotype distribution-60 (44%) taxA cases and 76 (56%) taxB cases-differed from that of a previous report from Kagoshima Prefecture in mainland Japan (taxA, 10%; taxB, 90%). A comparison of the clinical outcomes of 45 patients (taxA, 14; taxB, 31) with aggressive ATL revealed that the overall response and 1-year overall survival rates for taxA (50% and 35%, respectively) were lower than those for taxB (71% and 49%, respectively). In a multivariate analysis of two prognostic indices for aggressive ATL, Japan Clinical Oncology Group-Prognostic Index and Prognostic Index for acute and lymphoma ATL, with respect to age, performance status, corrected calcium, soluble interleukin-2 receptor, and tax genotype, the estimated hazard ratio of taxA compared with taxB was 2.68 (95% confidence interval, 0.87-8.25; P=0.086). Our results suggest that the tax genotype has clinical value as a prognostic factor for aggressive ATL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2017.08.006DOI Listing
October 2017

Prevalence of plasma autoantibody against cancer testis antigen NY-ESO-1 in HTLV-1 infected individuals with different clinical status.

Virol J 2017 07 17;14(1):130. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Department of Microbiology, Kawasaki Medical School, 577 Matsushima, Okayama, 701-0192, Japan.

Background: Detection of specific immune responses against cancer/testis antigen NY-ESO-1 was recently reported in patients with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) and human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-infected asymptomatic carriers (ACs). However, the relationship of the responses with the HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL) and the levels of viral gene expression remain unclear.

Findings: We measured plasma levels of autoantibodies to NY-ESO-1 immunogenic tumor antigen in HTLV-1-infected individuals with different clinical status, and in healthy controls. Data were compared to tax and HBZ mRNA levels, and PVL. Plasma anti-NY-ESO-1 antibody was detectable in 13.7% (7/51) of ACs, 29.2% (38/130) of patients with HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), and 18.9% (10/53) of patients with ATL. Anti-NY-ESO-1 plasma levels were significantly higher in patients with HAM/TSP than in patients with ATL or ACs. Anti-NY-ESO-1 levels were not associated with PVL or the expression levels of tax and HBZ mRNA among HTLV-1-infected individuals, regardless of clinical status.

Conclusions: The present results indicate the strong humoral immune response against NY-ESO-1 in natural HTLV-1 infection, irrespective of the clinical status. The higher immunoreactivity against NY-ESO-1 is not simply associated with the levels of both HTLV-1 gene expression and the number of infected cells in vivo. Rather, it might reflect chronic and generalized immune activation in infected individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12985-017-0802-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5512893PMC
July 2017

Cyclin-dependent kinase 9 is a novel specific molecular target in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma.

Blood 2017 08 23;130(9):1114-1124. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

Department of Hematology and Oncology and.

Cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9), a subunit of the positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) complex, regulates gene transcription elongation by phosphorylating the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). The deregulation of CDK9/P-TEFb has important implications for many cancer types. BAY 1143572 is a novel and highly selective CDK9/P-TEFb inhibitor currently being investigated in phase 1 studies. We evaluated the therapeutic potential of BAY 1143572 in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL). As a result of CDK9 inhibition and subsequent inhibition of phosphorylation at serine 2 of the RNAPII CTD, BAY 1143572 decreased c-Myc and Mcl-1 levels in ATL-derived or human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1)-transformed lines and primary ATL cells tested, leading to their growth inhibition and apoptosis. Median inhibitory concentrations for BAY 1143572 in ATL-derived or HTLV-1-transformed lines (n = 8), primary ATL cells (n = 11), and CD4 cells from healthy volunteers (n = 5) were 0.535, 0.30, and 0.36 μM, respectively. Next, NOG mice were used as recipients of tumor cells from an ATL patient. BAY 1143572-treated ATL-bearing mice (once daily 12.5 mg/kg oral application) demonstrated significantly decreased ATL cell infiltration of the liver and bone marrow, as well as decreased human soluble interleukin-2 receptor levels in serum (reflecting the ATL tumor burden), compared with untreated mice (n = 8 for both). BAY 1143572-treated ATL-bearing mice demonstrated significantly prolonged survival compared with untreated ATL-bearing mice (n = 7 for both). Collectively, this study indicates that BAY 1143572 showed strong potential as a novel treatment of ATL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2016-09-741983DOI Listing
August 2017

Dendritic cell maturation, but not type I interferon exposure, restricts infection by HTLV-1, and viral transmission to T-cells.

PLoS Pathog 2017 Apr 20;13(4):e1006353. Epub 2017 Apr 20.

International Center for Research in Infectiology, Retroviral Oncogenesis laboratory, INSERM U1111 -Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS, UMR5308, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université Lyon, Lyon, France.

Human T lymphotropic Virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of Adult T cell Leukemia/Lymphoma (ATLL) and HTLV-1-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Both CD4+ T-cells and dendritic cells (DCs) infected with HTLV-1 are found in peripheral blood from HTLV-1 carriers. We previously demonstrated that monocyte-derived IL-4 DCs are more susceptible to HTLV-1 infection than autologous primary T-cells, suggesting that DC infection precedes T-cell infection. However, during blood transmission, breast-feeding or sexual transmission, HTLV-1 may encounter different DC subsets present in the blood, the intestinal or genital mucosa respectively. These different contacts may impact HTLV-1 ability to infect DCs and its subsequent transfer to T-cells. Using in vitro monocyte-derived IL-4 DCs, TGF-β DCs and IFN-α DCs that mimic DCs contacting HTLV-1 in vivo, we show here that despite their increased ability to capture HTLV-1 virions, IFN-α DCs restrict HTLV-1 productive infection. Surprisingly, we then demonstrate that it is not due to the antiviral activity of type-I interferon produced by IFN-α DCs, but that it is likely to be linked to a distinct trafficking route of HTLV-1 in IL-4 DCs vs. IFN-α DCs. Finally, we demonstrate that, in contrast to IL-4 DCs, IFN-α DCs are impaired in their capacity to transfer HTLV-1 to CD4 T-cells, both after viral capture and trans-infection and after their productive infection. In conclusion, the nature of the DCs encountered by HTLV-1 upon primo-infection and the viral trafficking route through the vesicular pathway of these cells determine the efficiency of viral transmission to T-cells, which may condition the fate of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006353DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5413061PMC
April 2017

HIV-1 susceptibility of transgenic rat-derived primary macrophage/T cells and a T cell line that express human receptors, CyclinT1 and CRM1 genes.

Genes Cells 2017 May 22;22(5):424-435. Epub 2017 Mar 22.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science, 1432-1, Horinouchi, Hachioji, Tokyo, 192-0392, Japan.

We developed transgenic (Tg) rats that express human CD4, CCR5, CXCR4, CyclinT1, and CRM1 genes. Tg rat macrophages were efficiently infected with HIV-1 and supported production of infectious progeny virus. By contrast, both rat primary CD4 T cells and established T cell lines expressing human CD4, CCR5, CyclinT1, and CRM1 genes were infected inefficiently, but this was ameliorated by inhibition of cyclophilin A. The infectivity of rat T cell-derived virus was lower than that of human T cell-derived virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gtc.12486DOI Listing
May 2017

A novel mother-to-child human T-cell leukaemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) transmission model for investigating the role of maternal anti-HTLV-1 antibodies using orally infected mother rats.

J Gen Virol 2017 Apr 5;98(4):835-846. Epub 2017 May 5.

Department of Immunotherapeutics, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.

Human T-cell leukaemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a human retrovirus that is a causative agent of adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma (ATL) and is mainly transmitted from an infected mother to her child via breastfeeding. Such an HTLV-1 infection during childhood is believed to be a risk factor for ATL development. Although it has been suggested that an increased proviral load (PVL), a higher titre of antibody (Ab) in the infected mother and prolonged breastfeeding are associated with an increased risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), the mechanisms underlying MTCT of HTLV-1 remain largely unknown. In this study, we developed an MTCT model using orally HTLV-1-infected rats that have no Ab responses against viral antigens, such as Gag and Env. In this model, HTLV-1 could be transmitted from the infected mother rats to their offspring at a high rate (50-100 %), and the rate of MTCT tended to be correlated with the PVL of the infected mother rats. Furthermore, passive immunization of uninfected adult rats and an infected mother rat with a rat anti-HTLV-1 Env gp46-neutralizing mAb was unable to suppress primary oral HTLV-1 infection to the adult rats and vertical HTLV-1 transmission to the offspring, respectively. Our findings indicate that this MTCT model would be useful to investigate not only the mechanisms of MTCT but also the role of anti-HTLV-1 Ab in MTCT of HTLV-1. They also provide some information on the role of maternal Abs in MTCT, which should be considered when designing a strategy for prevention of MTCT of HTLV-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.000733DOI Listing
April 2017

HTLV-1 Tax Induces Formation of the Active Macromolecular IKK Complex by Generating Lys63- and Met1-Linked Hybrid Polyubiquitin Chains.

PLoS Pathog 2017 01 19;13(1):e1006162. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Department of Cancer Biology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

The Tax protein of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is crucial for the development of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), a highly malignant CD4+ T cell neoplasm. Among the multiple aberrant Tax-induced effects on cellular processes, persistent activation of transcription factor NF-κB, which is activated only transiently upon physiological stimulation, is essential for leukemogenesis. We and others have shown that Tax induces activation of the IκB kinase (IKK) complex, which is a critical step in NF-κB activation, by generating Lys63-linked polyubiquitin chains. However, the molecular mechanism underlying Tax-induced IKK activation is controversial and not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that Tax recruits linear (Met1-linked) ubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC) to the IKK complex and that Tax fails to induce IKK activation in cells that lack LUBAC activity. Mass spectrometric analyses revealed that both Lys63-linked and Met1-linked polyubiquitin chains are associated with the IKK complex. Furthermore, treatment of the IKK-associated polyubiquitin chains with Met1-linked-chain-specific deubiquitinase (OTULIN) resulted in the reduction of high molecular weight polyubiquitin chains and the generation of short Lys63-linked ubiquitin chains, indicating that Tax can induce the generation of Lys63- and Met1-linked hybrid polyubiquitin chains. We also demonstrate that Tax induces formation of the active macromolecular IKK complex and that the blocking of Tax-induced polyubiquitin chain synthesis inhibited formation of the macromolecular complex. Taken together, these results lead us to propose a novel model in which the hybrid-chain-dependent oligomerization of the IKK complex triggered by Tax leads to trans-autophosphorylation-mediated IKK activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006162DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5283754PMC
January 2017

Crucial role of carbonic anhydrase IX in tumorigenicity of xenotransplanted adult T-cell leukemia-derived cells.

Cancer Sci 2017 Mar;108(3):435-443

Division of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, Miyagi Cancer Center Research Institute, Natori, Japan.

Carbonic anhydrase IX (CA9) is a membrane-associated carbonic anhydrase that regulates cellular pH, is upregulated in various solid tumors, and is considered to be a therapeutic target. Here, we describe the essential role of CA9 in the tumorigenicity of cells derived from human adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL). We previously established the highly tumorigenic ST1-N6 subline from the ATL-derived ST1 cell line by serial xenotransplantation in NOG mice. In the present study, we first show that CA9 expression is strongly enhanced in ST1-N6 cells. We then sorted ST1 cells by high or low CA9 expression and established ST1-CA9 and ST1-CA9 sublines. ST1-CA9 cells, like ST1-N6 cells, were more strongly tumorigenic than ST1-CA9 or parental ST1 cells when injected into NOG mice. Knockdown of CA9 with shRNAs suppressed the ability of ST1-CA9 cells to initiate tumors, and the tumorigenicity of ST1 cells was significantly enhanced by introducing wild-type CA9 or a CA9 mutant with deletion of an intracytoplasmic domain. However, a CA9 with point mutations in the catalytic site did not increase the tumorigenicity of ST1 cells. Furthermore, we detected a small population of CA9 CD25 cells in lymph nodes of ATL patients. These findings suggest that CA9, and particularly its carbonic anhydrase activity, promotes the tumorigenicity of ATL-derived cells and may be involved in malignant development of lymphoma-type ATL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cas.13163DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5378273PMC
March 2017
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