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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase reporter gene mutation for analysis of in vivo clonal amplification in patients with HTLV type 1-associated Myelopathy/Tropical spastic paraparesis.

We tested a surrogate selection approach utilizing mutation at a reporter gene [hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (hprt)] as a probe for in vivo cell division, for detection of clonal T cell expansion in human T lymphotropic (HTLV-1) carriers. Peripheral blood samples from HTLV-1-infected individuals with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/ TSP) were tested to determine the hprt mutant frequency (Mf). Wild-type and hprt mutant T cell clones were isolated, and clonal identity determined by multiplex PCR and DNA sequencing of T cell receptor (TCR) variable region beta-chain (TCR BV) and third complementarity determining regions (CDR3). Seven samples from HAM/ TSP patients were tested, and Mfs were within the normal range for adults (mean 11.3 x 10(-6), max 22.4 x 10(-6), min 5.6 x 10(-6)). The frequency of HTLV-1 infection in wild-type and hprt mutant T cells from HAM/ TSP patients was determined to identify enrichment in the mutant fraction of cells. This analysis was performed on 196 isolates from 6 individuals with HAM/ TSP. In each case, there is enrichment for virally infected cells in the hprt mutant fraction of isolates. Ten mutant and eight wild-type isolates from sample LS42A (Mf 8.4 x 10(-6)) were tested for clonality by TCR BV PCR and sequencing. Of the 10 hprt mutants, there were two in vivo-expanded clones (four isolates with two identical TCRs, or 80% unique TCR sequences). These studies may provide new insights into the precise mechanism of HTLV-1 leukemogenesis, and aid in the study of mutator phenotypes generated by a combination of Tax-mediated in vivo expansion and mutagenesis.[1]


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