Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and leukemic transformation: viral infectivity, Tax, HBZ and therapy

Oncogene. 2011 Mar 24;30(12):1379-89. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.537. Epub 2010 Nov 29.


The human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) was the first retrovirus discovered to be causative of a human cancer, adult T-cell leukemia. The transforming entity of HTLV-1 has been attributed to the virally-encoded oncoprotein, Tax. Unlike the v-onc proteins encoded by other oncogenic animal retroviruses that transform cells, Tax does not originate from a c-onc counterpart. In this article, we review progress in our understanding of HTLV-1 infectivity, cellular transformation, anti-sense transcription and therapy, 30 years after the original discovery of this virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Cell Transformation, Viral*
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • Genes, pX*
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1 / genetics
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1 / metabolism*
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1 / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / immunology
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / virology*
  • Retroviridae Proteins
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*


  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • HBZ protein, human T-cell leukemia virus type I
  • Retroviridae Proteins
  • Viral Proteins