Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2017 06 29490(3) 1086-1092 pii 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.06.172
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATLL). The HTLV-1-encoded protein Tax plays important roles in the proliferation of HTLV-1-infected T-cells by affecting cellular proteins. In this study, we showed that Tax transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally downregulates the expression of the tumor suppressor gene B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 11B (BCL11B), which encodes a lymphoid-related transcription factor. BCL11B expression was downregulated in HTLV-1-infected T-cell lines at the mRNA and protein levels, and forced expression of BCL11B suppressed the proliferation of these cells. The proteasomal inhibitor MG132 increased BCL11B expression in HTLV-1-infected cell lines, and colocalization of Tax with BCL11B was detected in the cytoplasm of HTLV-1-infected T-cells following MG132 treatment. shRNA knock-down of Tax expression also increased the expression of BCL11B in HTLV-1-infected cells. Moreover, we found that Tax physically binds to BCL11B protein and induces the polyubiquitination of BCL11B and proteasome-dependent degradation of BCL11B. Thus, inactivation of BCL11B by Tax protein may play an important role in the Tax-mediated leukemogenesis.