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Clonal Expansion of Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type II in Patients with High Proviral Load

By Andrea Cimarelli, Cristina Angelin Duclos, Antoine Gessain, Claudio Casoli and Umberto Bertazzoni

Abstract

AbstractIn previous studies we demonstrated that individuals infected by human T-cell leukemia virus type II (HTLV-II) presented a high degree of variation in proviral load and that the cellular tropism of this virus was expanded in some patients to B-lymphocytes. To understand whether the observed high proviral load could be associated with the clonal expansion of the infected cells, we have studied the mode of integration of HTLV-II in six infected individuals with proviral load higher than 1% of total peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). An inverse polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, which allowed the amplification of the region flanking the 5′ end of the provirus, was developed for HTLV-II. A single band, corresponding to a monoclonal expansion, was found in four of six patients analyzed, while in the other two patients an oligoclonal type of integration was observed. The results for inverse PCR analysis were confirmed by sequencing the PCR products and showing that the 5′ LTR flanking sequences of proviral DNA obtained from the different subjects presented no homology, thus suggesting that no specific site or sequence is required for the integration process of HTLV-II. The results indicate that the HTLV-II high proviral load observed in PBMCs from infected patients is associated with a clonal expansion of HTLV-II-infected cells. This study also suggests that the very high genetic stability of HTLV-II could be explained by viral amplification via clonal expansion rather than by reverse transcription

Publisher: Academic Press.
Year: 1996
DOI identifier: 10.1006/viro.1996.0487
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