Coding potential of the X region of human T-cell leukemia/lymphotropic virus type II

Vincenzo Ciminale, Donna M. D'Agostino, Lorenza Zotti, Luigi Chieco-Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Human T-cell leukemia/lymphotropic viruses type I and type II (HTLV-I and HTLV-II) are complex human retroviruses showing a similar genetic organization but substantially different biologic and pathogenic properties. As in other complex retroviruses, the 3' portion of the HTLV genome contains the peculiar 'X region' comprising several partially overlapping open reading frames (ORFs). To search for a possible basis for the pathogenic differences between the two viruses, a number of studies have been carried out to analyze the coding potential of the X region of HTLV-I and, more recently, of HTLV- II. This review focuses on the coding potential of the HTLV-II X region and presents a comparison with that of HTLV-I. Expression of different ORFs present in the X region may be accessed through two expression strategics: alternative splicing and translation of more than one protein from the same mRNA. Initial analyses of the X region proteins indicate that some differ significantly from their HTLV-I homologues, thus providing possible clues to the understanding of the complex life cycle and pathogenicity of the two viruses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Human T-lymphotropic virus
  • Splicing
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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