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

Virion-associated trans-regulatory protein of human T-cell leukemia virus type I.

Western blot analysis of HTLV-I virus particles from HUT-102 cells revealed a 40-kD protein strongly reactive with Tax-specific rabbit antisera. This protein subsequently was isolated from density gradient purified virions by preparative sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), purified from comigrating Gag and human cellular proteins by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and identified as the tax-encoded gene product by amino acid composition analysis. Among extracellular virions from five HTLV-I producing cell lines, only those from HUT-102 and C10MJ cells contained a detectable Tax protein, although all cells expressed Tax mRNA and protein intracellularly. To investigate the diagnostic implications of virion-associated Tax protein, sera from HTLV-I-infected individuals were compared on HUT-102 and MT-2 virus Western blots. The seroprevalence of antibodies to Tax, but not Gag or Env proteins, was substantially higher among adult T-cell leukemia and tropical spastic paraparesis patients using HUT-102 viral proteins. Thus, immunoassays utilizing HUT-102 virus are most sensitive for detection of Tax-reactive antibodies.[1]


  1. Virion-associated trans-regulatory protein of human T-cell leukemia virus type I. Lillehoj, E.P., Alexander, S.S. AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses (1992) [Pubmed]
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