Sequence variants of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I from patients with tropical spastic paraparesis and adult T-cell leukemia do not distinguish neurological from leukemic isolates
Journal of Virology
We have amplified and sequenced DNA in the envelope (env) and long terminal repeat (LTR) regions of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) proviruses from the peripheral blood of 10 HTLV-I-seropositive patients with tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP) and two patients with adult T-cell leukemia. The aim was to examine variation in these regions and to test the hypothesis that the sequences of leukemogenic HTLV-I isolates differ from those causing the neurological disease TSP. In 5 of
... ase TSP. In 5 of the 12 HTLV-I-seropositive patients, more than one HTLV-I sequence variant was identified in the same individual. No two individuals shared identical sequences in either env or LTR U3. Sequence variations were found at 73 positions in 1,416 bases amplified in env. Sequence variability was found throughout the LTR-U3 region, including the sequences of two transcriptional enhancers. Several nucleotide changes common to both Caribbean and Japanese HTLV-I isolates allowed us to identify a consensus sequence that differs from the HTLV-I prototype sequence (M. Seiki, S. Hattori, Y. Hirayama, and M. Yoshida, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 80:3618-3622, 1983). No sequence in the env or LTR U3 region was found to be characteristic of isolates from TSP patients. Although each isolate was distinct at the nucleotide level, the predicted protein sequence of HTLV-I env is less variable than that of human immunodeficiency virus env, suggesting that these lymphotropic retroviruses use different strategies to evade host immune responses.