The human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) is a causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia. Although the exact mechanism by which HTLV-I contributes to leukemogenesis is still unclear, the Tax protein is thought to play a major role in this process. This 40-kDa polypeptide is able to interact with the tumor suppressor p16(INK4A). Consequently, Tax can activate the signaling pathway that lead to the release of E2F that in turn induces expression of factors required for cell cycle progression. In this paper, we demonstrate that Tax can also activate E2F-mediated transcription independently of p16(INK4A). Indeed, when Tax is coexpressed with the E2F-1 transcription factor in CEM T-cells, which lack expression of p16(INK4A), it strongly potentiates the E2F-dependent activation of a reporter construct driven by a promoter containing E2F binding sites. This stimulation is abrogated by mutations affecting the E2F-binding sites. In addition, Tax also stimulates the transcription of the E2F-1 gene itself. Using Tax mutants that fail to activate either ATF- or NF-kappa B-dependent promoters and different 5′ truncation mutants of the E2F-1 promoter, we show that the Tax-dependent transcriptional control of the E2F1 gene involves, at least in part, the ATF binding site located in the E2F-1 promoter.
Activation of E2F-mediated transcription by human T-cell leukemia virus type I tax protein in a p16(INK4A)-negative T-cell line
Lemasson, I.; Thebault, S.; Sardet, C.; Devaux, C.; Mesnard, J. M.
Journal of Biological Chemistry
1998-09-04 / vol 273 / pages 23598-23604
htlv-i; nf-kappa-b; constitutive activation; e2f family members; interleukin-2 receptor; lymphoma virus; rat fibroblasts; retinoblastoma gene-product; s-phase entry; transactivator tax