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  • The Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1 Basic Leucine Zipper Factor Attenuates Repair of Double-Stranded DNA Breaks via Nonhomologous End Joining.

The Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1 Basic Leucine Zipper Factor Attenuates Repair of Double-Stranded DNA Breaks via Nonhomologous End Joining.

Journal of virology (2018-05-18)
Amanda W Rushing, Kimson Hoang, Nicholas Polakowski, Isabelle Lemasson

Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) is a fatal malignancy of CD4+ T cells infected with human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1). ATL cells often exhibit random gross chromosomal rearrangements that are associated with the induction and improper repair of double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs). The viral oncoprotein Tax has been reported to impair DSB repair but has not been shown to be consistently expressed throughout all phases of infection. The viral oncoprotein HTLV-1 basic leucine zipper (bZIP) factor (HBZ) is consistently expressed prior to and throughout disease progression, but it is unclear whether it also influences DSB repair. We report that HBZ attenuates DSB repair by nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), in a manner dependent upon the bZIP domain. HBZ was found to interact with two vital members of the NHEJ core machinery, Ku70 and Ku80, and to be recruited to DSBs in a bZIP-dependent manner in vitro We observed that HBZ expression also resulted in a bZIP-dependent delay in DNA protein kinase (DNA-PK) activation following treatment with etoposide. Although Tax is reported to interact with Ku70, we did not find Tax expression to interfere with HBZ:Ku complex formation. However, as Tax was reported to saturate NHEJ, we found that this effect masked the attenuation of NHEJ by HBZ. Overall, these data suggest that DSB repair mechanisms are impaired not only by Tax but also by HBZ and show that HBZ expression may significantly contribute to the accumulation of chromosomal abnormalities during HTLV-1-mediated oncogenesis.IMPORTANCE Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infects 15 million to 20 million people worldwide. Approximately 90% of infected individuals are asymptomatic and may remain undiagnosed, increasing the risk that they will unknowingly transmit the virus. About 5% of the HTLV-1-positive population develop adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), a fatal disease that is not highly responsive to treatment. Although ATL development remains poorly understood, two viral proteins, Tax and HBZ, have been implicated in driving disease progression by manipulating host cell signaling and transcriptional pathways. Unlike Tax, HBZ expression is consistently observed in all infected individuals, making it important to elucidate the specific role of HBZ in disease progression. Here, we present evidence that HBZ could promote the accumulation of double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) through the attenuation of the nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) repair pathway. This effect may lead to genome instability, ultimately contributing to the development of ATL.

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