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

Retroviral interference on STAT activation in individuals coinfected with human T cell leukemia virus type 2 and HIV-1.

Human T cell leukemia virus (HTLV) type-2 is a human retrovirus whose infection has not been tightly linked to human diseases. However, the fairly high prevalence of this infection among HIV-1-positive individuals indicates the importance of better understanding the potential interference of HTLV-2 infection on HIV-1 infection and AIDS. We previously demonstrated that one signature of PBMC freshly derived from HIV-1-infected individuals is the constitutive activation of a C-terminal truncated STAT5 (STAT5Delta). Therefore, we analyzed the potential activation of STATs in HTLV-2 monoinfected and HTLV-2/HIV-1 dually infected individuals. We observed that PBMC of HTLV-2-infected individuals do not show STAT activation unless they are cultivated ex vivo, in the absence of any mitogenic stimuli, for at least 8 h. The emergence of STAT activation, namely of STAT1, in culture was mostly related to the secretion of IFN-gamma. Of note, this phenomenon is not only a characteristic feature of HTLV-2-infected individuals but also occurred with PBMC of HIV-1(+) individuals. Surprisingly, HTLV-2/HIV-1 coinfection resulted in low/absent STAT activation in vivo that paralleled a diminished secretion of IFN-gamma after ex vivo cultivation. Our findings indicate that both HTLV-2 and HIV-1 infection prime T lymphocytes for STAT1 activation, but they also highlight an interference exerted by HTLV-2 on HIV-1-induced STAT1 activation. Although the nature of such a phenomenon is unclear at the present, these findings support the hypothesis that HTLV-2 may interfere with HIV-1 infection at multiple levels.[1]


  1. Retroviral interference on STAT activation in individuals coinfected with human T cell leukemia virus type 2 and HIV-1. Bovolenta, C., Pilotti, E., Mauri, M., Panzeri, B., Sassi, M., Dall'Aglio, P., Bertazzoni, U., Poli, G., Casoli, C. J. Immunol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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