Viruses 2017 11 239(12) pii 10.3390/v9120355
Human T cell leukemia virus (HTLV)-1 Tax (Tax) protein is very important in viral replication and cell transformation. Tax localizes in the nucleus and cytoplasm in association with organelles. Some activities of Tax depend on interactions with PDZ (PSD-95/Discs Large/Z0-1) domain-containing proteins such as Discs large protein 1 (DLG1) which is involved in cell polarity and proliferation. The DLG1 interaction results in a cytoplasmic co-localization pattern resembling vesicular aggregates, the nature of which is still unknown. To further explore the role of PDZ proteins in HTLV-1 cell transformation, we deeply investigated the Tax-DLG1 association. By fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), we detected, for the first time, the direct binding of Tax to DLG1 within the cell. We showed that the interaction specifically affects the cellular distribution of not only DLG1, but also Tax. After studying different cell structures, we demonstrated that the aggregates distribute into the Golgi apparatus in spatial association with the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC). This study contributes to understand the biological significance of Tax-PDZ interactions.