Antibody reactivities to tumor-suppressor protein p53 and HTLV-I Tof, Rex and Tax in HTLV-I-infected people with differing clinical status

Int J Cancer. 1997 Apr 10;71(2):196-202. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19970410)71:2<196::aid-ijc12>;2-g.


Since the presence of anti-p53 antibody has been correlated with the mutation and accumulation of p53, the aim of this study was to detect anti-p53 antibody and understand its correlations with anti-Tof, -Rex, or -Tax antibody reactivity in HTLV-I infected people differing in their clinical status. A plasmid (pGEX-Tof) was constructed to express Tof recombinant protein (RP) in Escherichia coli. Serum samples from 50 asymptomatic carriers (ACs), 50 adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and 50 HTLV-I-associated myelopathyltropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) patients were assayed for reactivity with different RPs by Western immunoblotting. The results showed that 2% of ACs, 4% of ATL patients and 6% of HAM/TSP patients had anti-p53 antibody. Therefore, anti-p53 antibody is not a useful serological marker for clinical management of HTLV-I infected people. Only 1 HAM/TSP patient had anti-Tof antibody whose specificity was further confirmed by antibody competition enzyme immunoassay. This study demonstrates that Tof protein is immunogenic in vivo, suggesting that it plays a role in the life cycle and pathogenesis of HTLV-I. The rate of anti-Rex antibody among HAM/TSP patients was significantly higher than that of ACs or ATL patients. In addition, 50% of ACs, 42% of ATL and 98% of HAM/TSP patients had anti-Tax antibody. McNemar's test showed that the presence of anti-p53 antibody did not have any correlation with the anti-Tax antibody in HTLV-I-infected people, while the correlation between anti-p53 and anti-Rex antibodies or anti-p53 and anti-Tof antibodies cannot be ruled out in this study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Gene Products, rex / immunology*
  • Gene Products, tax / immunology*
  • HTLV-I Antibodies / analysis*
  • HTLV-I Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, T-Cell / immunology
  • Paraparesis, Tropical Spastic / immunology
  • Plasmids
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rabbits
  • Retroviridae Proteins / immunology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Gene Products, rex
  • Gene Products, tax
  • HTLV-I Antibodies
  • Retroviridae Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • tof protein, Human T-lymphotropic virus 1