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Viruses 2016, 8(3), 74; doi:10.3390/v8030074

Molecular Mechanisms of HTLV-1 Cell-to-Cell Transmission

Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), 91054 Erlangen, Germany
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Academic Editor: Louis M. Mansky
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 20 February 2016 / Accepted: 4 March 2016 / Published: 9 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in HTLV Research 2015)
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Abstract

The tumorvirus human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), a member of the delta-retrovirus family, is transmitted via cell-containing body fluids such as blood products, semen, and breast milk. In vivo, HTLV-1 preferentially infects CD4+ T-cells, and to a lesser extent, CD8+ T-cells, dendritic cells, and monocytes. Efficient infection of CD4+ T-cells requires cell-cell contacts while cell-free virus transmission is inefficient. Two types of cell-cell contacts have been described to be critical for HTLV-1 transmission, tight junctions and cellular conduits. Further, two non-exclusive mechanisms of virus transmission at cell-cell contacts have been proposed: (1) polarized budding of HTLV-1 into synaptic clefts; and (2) cell surface transfer of viral biofilms at virological synapses. In contrast to CD4+ T-cells, dendritic cells can be infected cell-free and, to a greater extent, via viral biofilms in vitro. Cell-to-cell transmission of HTLV-1 requires a coordinated action of steps in the virus infectious cycle with events in the cell-cell adhesion process; therefore, virus propagation from cell-to-cell depends on specific interactions between cellular and viral proteins. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms of HTLV-1 transmission with a focus on the HTLV-1-encoded proteins Tax and p8, their impact on host cell factors mediating cell-cell contacts, cytoskeletal remodeling, and thus, virus propagation. View Full-Text
Keywords: HTLV-1; Tax; p8; virus transmission; cell-to-cell transmission; cell-cell contacts; virological synapse; viral biofilm; cellular conduit HTLV-1; Tax; p8; virus transmission; cell-to-cell transmission; cell-cell contacts; virological synapse; viral biofilm; cellular conduit
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gross, C.; Thoma-Kress, A.K. Molecular Mechanisms of HTLV-1 Cell-to-Cell Transmission. Viruses 2016, 8, 74.

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