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

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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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 which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Nejmeddine, M.; Bangham, C.R. The HTLV-1 Virological Synapse. Viruses 2010, 2, 1427-1447.

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