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

Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I-infected cells extravasate through the endothelial barrier by a local angiogenesis-like mechanism.

Extravasation of tumor cells through the endothelial barrier is a critical step in cancer metastasis. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I)-associated adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is an aggressive disease characterized by visceral invasion. We show that ATL and HTLV-I-associated myelopathy patients exhibit high plasma levels of functional vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor. The viral oncoprotein Tax transactivates the promoter of the gap-junction protein connexin-43 and enhances gap-junction-mediated heterocellular communication with endothelial cells. The interaction of HTLV-I-transformed cells with endothelial cells induces the gelatinase activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 in endothelial cells and down-regulates the tissue inhibitor of MMP. This leads to subendothelial basement membrane degradation followed by endothelial cell retraction, allowing neoplastic lymphocyte extravasation. We propose a model that offers a mechanistic explanation for extravasation of HTLV-I-infected cells: after specific adhesion to endothelia of target organs, tumor cells induce a local and transient angiogenesis-like mechanism through paracrine stimulation and direct cell-cell communication with endothelial cells. This culminates in a breach of the endothelial barrier function, allowing cancer cell invasion. This local and transient angiogenesis-like sequence that may facilitate visceral invasion in ATL represents a potential target for ATL therapy.[1]


  1. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I-infected cells extravasate through the endothelial barrier by a local angiogenesis-like mechanism. Bazarbachi, A., Abou Merhi, R., Gessain, A., Talhouk, R., El-Khoury, H., Nasr, R., Gout, O., Sulahian, R., Homaidan, F., de Thé, H., Hermine, O., El-Sabban, M.E. Cancer Res. (2004) [Pubmed]
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