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Cell-to-Cell Spread of Retroviruses
Viruses 2010, 2(7), 1427-1447; doi:10.3390/v2071427
Review

The HTLV-1 Virological Synapse

*  and *
Department of Immunology, Wright-Fleming Institute, Imperial College London, St. Mary’s campus, Norfolk Place W2 1PG, London, UK
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 April 2010 / Revised: 4 June 2010 / Accepted: 29 June 2010 / Published: 7 July 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission of Retroviruses across Virological Synapses)
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Abstract

Human T-lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1) spreads efficiently between T-cells via a tight and highly organized cell-cell contact known as the virological synapse. It is now thought that many retroviruses and other viruses spread via a virological synapse, which may be defined as a virus-induced, specialized area of cell-to-cell contact that promotes the directed transmission of the virus between cells. We summarize here the mechanisms leading to the formation of the HTLV-1 virological synapse and the role played by HTLV-1 Tax protein. We propose a model of HTLV-1 transmission between T-cells based on the three-dimensional ultrastructure of the virological synapse. Finally, in the light of recent advances, we discuss the possible routes of HTLV-1 spread across the virological synapse.
Keywords: HTLV-1 virological synapse; viral proteins; cytoskeleton; polarization HTLV-1 virological synapse; viral proteins; cytoskeleton; polarization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Nejmeddine, M.; Bangham, C.R. The HTLV-1 Virological Synapse. Viruses 2010, 2, 1427-1447.

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