HTLV-1-host interactions on the development of adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma: virus and host gene expressions

Tarokhian H, Rahimi H, Mosavat A, Shirdel A, Rafatpanah H, Akbarin MM, Bari A, Ramezani S, Rezaee SA.

BMC Cancer. 2018 Dec 22;18(1):1287. doi: 10.1186/s12885-018-5209-5.

Background: Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is a lymphoproliferative disorder of HTLV-1-host interactions in infected TCD4+ cells. In this study, the HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL) and HBZ as viral elements and AKT1, BAD, FOXP3, RORγt and IFNλ3 as the host factors were investigated.

Methods: The study was conducted in ATLLs, HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis patients (HAM/TSPs) and HTLV-1-asympthomatic carriers (ACs). The DNA and mRNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells were extracted for gene expression assessments via qRT-PCR, TaqMan assay, and then confirmed by western blotting.

Results: As it was expected, the HTLV-1-PVL were higher in ATLLs than ACs (P = 0.002) and HAM/TSP (P = 0.041). The HBZ expression in ATLL (101.76 ± 61.3) was radically higher than in ACs (0.12 ± 0.05) and HAM/TSP (0.01 ± 0.1) (P = 0.001). Furthermore, the AKT1 expression in ATLLs (13.52 ± 4.78) was higher than ACs (1.17 ± 0.27) (P = 0.05) and HAM/TSPs (0.72 ± 0.49) (P = 0.008). However, BAD expression in ATLL was slightly higher than ACs and HAM/TSPs and not significant. The FOXP3 in ATLLs (41.02 ± 24.2) was more than ACs (1.44 ± 1) (P = 0.007) and HAM/TSP (0.45 ± 0.15) (P = 0.01). However, RORγt in ATLLs (27.43 ± 14.8) was higher than ACs (1.05 ± 0.32) (P = 0.02) but not HAM/TSPs. Finally, the IFNλ3 expression between ATLLs (31.92 ± 26.02) and ACs (1.46 ± 0.63) (P = 0.01) and ACs and HAM/TSPs (680.62 ± 674.6) (P = 0.02) were statistically different, but not between ATLLs and HAM/TSPs.

Conclusion: The present and our previous study demonstrated that HTLV-1-PVL and HBZ and host AKT1 and Rad 51 are novel candidates for molecular targeting therapy of ATLL. However, high level of RORγt may inhibit Th1 response and complicated in ATLL progressions.

Keywords: AKT1; BAD; FOXP3; HBZ; HTLV-1-proviral load; IFNλ3; RORγt