ABSTRACT: To characterize the interactions between human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV) infection and cellular gene expression, we examined the expression of the lymphokine interleukin 3 (IL-3) in the presence and absence of HTLV infection. IL-3, like granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), is produced by activated but not resting T cells, but although GM-CSF is constitutively expressed in HTLV-infected T cells IL-3 mRNA cannot be detected in either unstimulated or mitogen-stimulated HTLV-infected cells by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. In contrast, transient co-transfection studies with an IL-3 promoter-CAT reporter gene and an HTLV-II Tax expression construct demonstrate that Tax can transactivate the IL-3 promoter in HTLV-uninfected T cells. To determine whether differences in IL-3 promoter-binding proteins present in HTLV-infected and uninfected T cells account for this discrepancy, DNAase I footprinting of the IL-3 promoter was performed. Although crude nuclear extracts from both cell types protected the IL-3 sequences located between base pairs -168 and -125, the sequences between -125 and -103, which contain the lymphokine consensus sequences CK-1 and CK-2, were protected by extracts from HTLV-infected but not HTLV-uninfected T cells. Deletion of the region containing the CK-1 and CK-2 sequences from an IL-3 promoter CAT construct resulted in a sixfold rise in promoter activity in HTLV-infected but not uninfected T-cell lines, indicating that this region participates in the repression of IL-3 gene expression in HTLV-infected T cells.
Oncogene 08/1993; 8(7):1905-11. · 6.37 Impact Factor