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      The Botanical Glycoside Oleandrin Inhibits Human T-cell Leukemia Virus Type-1 Infectivity and Env-Dependent Virological Synapse Formation

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          At present, there are no antiretroviral drugs that inhibit incorporation of the envelope glycoprotein into newly-synthesized virus particles. The botanical glycoside, oleandrin, derived from extracts of Nerium oleander, has previously been shown to reduce the levels of the gp120 envelope glycoprotein on human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) particles and inhibit HIV-1 infectivity in vitro. We therefore tested whether oleandrin or an extract from N. oleander could also inhibit the infectivity of the human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1): A related enveloped retrovirus and emerging tropical infectious agent. The treatment of HTLV-1+ lymphoma T-cells with either oleandrin or a N. oleander extract did not significantly inhibit viral replication or the release of p19 Gag-containing particles into the culture supernatants. However, the collected virus particles from treated cells exhibited reduced infectivity on primary human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (huPBMCs). Unlike HIV-1, extracellular HTLV-1 particles are poorly infectious and viral transmission typically occurs via direct intercellular interactions across a virological synapse. We therefore investigated whether oleandrin or a N. oleander extract could inhibit virus transmission from a GFP-expressing HTLV-1+ lymphoma T-cell-line to huPBMCs in co- culture assays. These results demonstrated that both oleandrin and the crude phytoextract inhibited the formation of virological synapses and the transmission of HTLV-1 in vitro. Importantly, these findings suggest oleandrin may have broad antiviral activity against enveloped viruses by reducing the incorporation of the envelope glycoprotein into mature particles, a stage of the infection cycle not targeted by modern HAART.

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          Most cited references 79

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          Biofilm-like extracellular viral assemblies mediate HTLV-1 cell-to-cell transmission at virological synapses.

          Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a lymphotropic retrovirus whose cell-to-cell transmission requires cell contacts. HTLV-1-infected T lymphocytes form 'virological synapses', but the mechanism of HTLV-1 transmission remains poorly understood. We show here that HTLV-1-infected T lymphocytes transiently store viral particles as carbohydrate-rich extracellular assemblies that are held together and attached to the cell surface by virally-induced extracellular matrix components, including collagen and agrin, and cellular linker proteins, such as tetherin and galectin-3. Extracellular viral assemblies rapidly adhere to other cells upon cell contact, allowing virus spread and infection of target cells. Their removal strongly reduces the ability of HTLV-1-producing cells to infect target cells. Our findings unveil a novel virus transmission mechanism based on the generation of extracellular viral particle assemblies whose structure, composition and function resemble those of bacterial biofilms. HTLV-1 biofilm-like structures represent a major route for virus transmission from cell to cell.
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            Enhancement of infectivity and persistence in vivo by HBZ, a natural antisense coded protein of HTLV-1.

            Natural antisense viral transcripts have been recognized in retroviruses, including human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), HIV-1, and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and have been postulated to encode proteins important for the infection cycle and/or pathogenesis of the virus. The antisense strand of the HTLV-1 genome encodes HBZ, a novel nuclear basic region leucine zipper (b-ZIP) protein that in overexpression assays down-regulates Tax oncoprotein-induced viral transcription. Herein, we investigated the contribution of HBZ to HTLV-1-mediated immortalization of primary T lymphocytes in vitro and HTLV-1 infection in a rabbit animal model. HTLV-1 HBZ mutant viruses were generated and evaluated for viral gene expression, protein production, and immortalization capacity. Biologic properties of HBZ mutant viruses in vitro were indistinguishable from wild-type HTLV-1, providing the first direct evidence that HBZ is dispensable for viral replication and cellular immortalization. Rabbits inoculated with irradiated cells expressing HTLV-1 HBZ mutant viruses became persistently infected. However, these rabbits displayed a decreased antibody response to viral gene products and reduced proviral copies in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as compared with wild-type HTLV-1-infected animals. Our findings indicated that HBZ was not required for in vitro cellular immortalization, but enhanced infectivity and persistence in inoculated rabbits. This study demonstrates that retroviruses use negative-strand-encoded proteins in the establishment of chronic viral infections.
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              Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) bZIP protein interacts with the cellular transcription factor CREB to inhibit HTLV-1 transcription.

              The complex human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) retrovirus encodes several proteins that are unique to the virus within its 3'-end region. Among them, the viral transactivator Tax and posttranscriptional regulator Rex are well characterized, and both positively regulate HTLV-1 viral expression. Less is known about the other regulatory proteins encoded in this region of the provirus, including the recently discovered HBZ protein. HBZ has been shown to negatively regulate basal and Tax-dependent HTLV-1 transcription through its ability to interact with specific basic-leucine zipper (bZIP) proteins. In the present study, we found that HBZ reduces HTLV-1 transcription and virion production. We then characterized the interaction between HBZ and the cellular transcription factor CREB. CREB plays a critical role in Tax-mediated HTLV-1 transcription by forming a complex with Tax that binds to viral cyclic AMP-response elements (CREs) located within the viral promoter. We found that HBZ and CREB interact in vivo and directly in vitro, and this interaction occurs through the bZIP domain of each protein. We also found that CREM-Ia and ATF-1, which share significant homology in their bZIP domains with the bZIP domain of CREB, interact with HBZ-bZIP. The interaction between CREB and HBZ prevents CREB binding to the viral CRE elements in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that the reduction in HTLV-1 transcription by HBZ is partly due to the loss of CREB at the promoter. We also found that HBZ displaces CREB from a cellular CRE, suggesting that HBZ may deregulate CREB-dependent cellular gene expression.

                Author and article information

                J Antivir Antiretrovir
                J Antivir Antiretrovir
                Journal of antivirals & antiretrovirals
                10 November 2019
                21 August 2019
                10 December 2019
                : 11
                : 3
                [1 ]Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Department of Biological Sciences, The Dedman College Center for Drug Discovery, Design & Delivery, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 75275-0376, USA
                [2 ]Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, 77054, USA
                [3 ]Departments of Immunology and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, 77054, USA
                Author notes

                Both authors contributed equally to this work.

                [* ] Correspondence to: Robert Harrod, Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Department of Biological Sciences, The Dedman College Center for Drug Discovery, Design & Delivery, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 75275-0376, USA, Tel: +1-214-768-3864; Fax: +1-214-768-3955; rharrod@ 123456smu.edu

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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