HTLV-1 Tax deregulates autophagy by recruiting autophagic molecules into lipid raft microdomains

T. Ren, Yoshinori Takahashi, X. Liu, T. P. Loughran, S. C. Sun, Hong-Gang Wang, H. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The retroviral oncoprotein Tax from human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), an etiological factor that causes adult T-cell leukemia and lymphoma, has a crucial role in initiating T-lymphocyte transformation by inducing oncogenic signaling activation. We here report that Tax is a determining factor for dysregulation of autophagy in HTLV-1-transformed T cells and Tax-immortalized CD4 memory T cells. Tax facilitated autophagic process by activating inhibitor of κB (IkB) kinase (IKK) complex, which subsequently recruited an autophagy molecular complex containing Beclin1 and Bif-1 to the lipid raft microdomains. Tax engaged a crosstalk between IKK complex and autophagic molecule complex by directly interacting with both complexes, promoting assembly of LC3 + autophagosomes. Moreover, expression of lipid raft-targeted Bif-1 or Beclin1 was sufficient to induce formation of LC3 + autophagosomes, suggesting that Tax recruitment of autophagic molecules to lipid rafts is a dominant strategy to deregulate autophagy in the context of HTLV-1 transformation of T cells. Furthermore, depletion of autophagy molecules such as Beclin1 and PI3 kinase class III resulted in impaired growth of HTLV-1-transformed T cells, indicating a critical role of Tax-deregulated autophagy in promoting survival and transformation of virally infected T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-384
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 15 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'HTLV-1 Tax deregulates autophagy by recruiting autophagic molecules into lipid raft microdomains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this