Objective: Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is an enveloped retrovirus, which is associated with a T-cell malignancy known as adult T-cell leukemia (ATL). Variation in the HTLV-1 envelope nucleotide sequence has been extensively documented and has been used to classify HTLV-1 isolates into different subtypes. The virus occurs in at least 3 subtypes, which have been named A, B, and C. We conducted this study to compare the antigenic proprieties of the Iranian isolate of HTLV-1 with the homologous region of different subtypes of the virus.
Methods: This study took place in the Department of Biology, College of Sciences, Shiraz University, Iran in 2005. The predicted antigenic sites and secondary structure of the envelope glycoprotein of HTLV-1, present in Iran, have been compared with the antigenic sites and secondary structure of the homologous domains in subtypes A, B, C of the virus. To predict the epitopes of glycoproteins, 21 different scales were used.
Results: The number of helices in the Iranian isolate was equal to the number of these regions in all 3 subtypes, but the number of beta-sheets was more than other viruses. One potential glycosylation site, on all these studied envelope glycoproteins, was predicted. Antigenic sites in the Iranian isolate were almost similar to subtype A of the virus and the Iranian isolate of HTLV-1 may be belongs to subtype A.
Conclusion: Our results indicate the similarities and differences between the Iranian and other subtypes of HTLV-1. Antigenic sites represent potential candidates for use in a peptide vaccine against HTLV-1 glycoproteins and since most of the properties of a particular protein depend on its structural properties, this type of study can help in better understanding of HTLV-1 isolates present in Iran.