Absence of accessory genes in a divergent simian T-lymphotropic virus type 1 isolated from a bonnet macaque (<i>Macaca radiata</i>)

by Philippe V. Afonso, Zahra Fagrouch, Martin Deijs, Henk Niphuis, Willy Bogers, Antoine Gessain, Lia van der Hoek, Ernst J. Verschoor


Primate T-lymphotropic viruses type 1 (PTLV-1) are complex retroviruses infecting both human (HTLV-1) and simian (STLV-1) hosts. They share common epidemiological, clinical and molecular features. In addition to the canonical gag, pol, env retroviral genes, PTLV-1 purportedly encodes regulatory (i.e. Tax, Rex, and HBZ) and accessory proteins (i.e. P12/8, P13, P30). The latter have been found essential for viral persistence in vivo.

Methodology/Principal findings

We have isolated a STLV-1 virus from a bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata–Mra18C9), a monkey from India. The complete sequence was obtained and phylogenetic analyses were performed. The Mra18C9 strain is highly divergent from the known PTLV-1 strains. Intriguingly, the Mra18C9 lacks the 3 accessory open reading frames. In order to determine if the absence of accessory proteins is specific to this particular strain, a comprehensive analysis of the complete PTLV-1 genomes available in Genbank was performed and found that the lack of one or many accessory ORF is common among PTLV-1.


This study raises many questions regarding the actual nature, role and importance of accessory proteins in the PTLV-1 biology.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.