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Long Terminal Repeat Circular DNA as Markers of Active Viral Replication of Human T Lymphotropic Virus-1 in Vivo

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JournalViruses
DateAccepted/In press - 4 Mar 2016
DatePublished (current) - 14 Mar 2016
Issue number3
Volume8
Number of pages15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Abstract: Clonal expansion of human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) infected cells in vivo is well documented. Unlike human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), HTLV-1 plasma RNA is sparse. The contribution of the “mitotic” spread of HTLV-1 compared with infectious spread of the virus to HTLV-1 viral burden in established infection is uncertain. Since extrachromosomal long terminal repeat (LTR) DNA circles are indicators of viral replication in HIV-1 carriers with undetectable plasma HIV RNA, we hypothesised that HTLV-1 LTR circles could indicate reverse transcriptase (RT) usage and infectious activity. 1LTR and 2LTR DNA circles were measured in HTLV-1 cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of asymptomatic carriers (ACs) and patients with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) or adult T cell leukaemia/lymphoma (ATLL). 1LTR DNA circles were detected in 14/20 patients at a mean of 1.38/100 PBMC but did not differentiate disease status nor correlate with HTLV-1 DNA copies. 2LTR DNA circles were detected in 30/31 patients and at higher concentrations in patients with HTLV-1-associated diseases, independent of HTLV-1 DNA load. In an incident case the 2LTR DNA circle concentration increased 2.1 fold at the onset of HAM/TSP compared to baseline. Detectable and fluctuating levels of HTLV-1 DNA circles in patients indicate viral RT usage and virus replication. Our results indicate HTLV-1 viral replication capacity is maintained in chronic infection and may be associated with disease onset.

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© 2016 by the authors

    Research areas

  • long terminal repeat; LTR DNA circles; human T-lymphotropic virus; HTLV; viral replication

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