Molecular cancer

HTLV-I p30 inhibits multiple S phase entry checkpoints, decreases cyclin E-CDK2 interactions and delays cell cycle progression.

PMID 21092281


Human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) has efficiently adapted to its host and establishes a persistent infection characterized by low levels of viral gene expression and slow proliferation of HTLV-I infected cells over decades. We have previously found that HTLV-I p30 is a negative regulator of virus expression. In this study we show that p30 targets multiple cell cycle checkpoints resulting in a delayed entry into S phase. We found that p30 binds to cyclin E and CDK2 and prevents the formation of active cyclin E-CDK2 complexes. In turn, this decreases the phosphorylation levels of Rb and prevents the release of E2F and its transcriptional activation of genes required for G1/S transition. Our studies also show that HTLV-II p28 does not bind cyclin E and does not affect cell cycle progression. In contrast to HTLV-I, the HTLV-II-related retrovirus is not oncogenic in humans. Here we report that the HTLV-I p30 delays cell cycle progression while its homologue, HTLV-II p28, does not, providing evidence for important differences between these two related retrovirus proteins.