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  • Meeting abstract
  • Open Access

Analysis of temporal expression of HTLV-2 reveals similarities and functional differences from HTLV-1

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  • 1Email author
Retrovirology20118 (Suppl 1) :A192

  • Published:


  • Infectious Disease
  • Cancer Research
  • Full Length
  • Powerful Control
  • Time Zero

In the present study, we developed a robust splice site-specific real-time RT-PCR method to quantitate all HTLV-2 transcripts. Results of this analysis conducted on three different infected cell lines (HTLV-2A Mo-T , C344 and HTLV-2B BJAB-Gu) showed that the most abundant mRNA was gag/pol followed by the accessory transcript 1-3, coding for the p28 and for p22/p20 proteins. The third most abundant mRNA was tax/rex.

To investigate if different mRNAs produced by HTLV-2 are expressed at different levels upon viral reactivation, we studied the kinetics of viral expression in PBMCs from three subjects infected with HTLV-2B and cultured in vitro for 48 hours. The level of expression of the full length gag/pol transcript was the highest in all samples. The tax/rex mRNA was detected already at time zero and increased very rapidly following in vitro culture, reaching the highest copy number between zero and 2-4 hours. The minus-strand APH-2 mRNA, was expressed at high level. As observed in the infected cell lines, the 1-3 mRNA was expressed at high levels in all subjects. This finding is particularly intriguing, as it encodes two proteins that were shown to exert a powerful control on Tax and Rex function. This peculiar pattern of expression, which is in striking contrast with that of HTLV-1, might in part explain the differential pathogenicity of the two viruses.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Life and Reproduction Sciences, Section of Biology and Genetics, Università degli Studi di Verona, Verona, 37134, Italy
Department of Clinical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy
Department of Oncology, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy


© Bender et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. 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 work is properly cited.