Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 oncoprotein tax promotes unscheduled degradation of Pds1p/securin and Clb2p/cyclin B1 and causes chromosomal instability

Baoying Liu, Min Hui Liang, Yu Liang Kuo, Wei Liao, Imre Boros, Tami Kleinberger, Jan Blancato, Chou Zen Giam

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Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia. The HTLV-1 transactivator, Tax, is implicated as the viral oncoprotein. Naïve cells expressing Tax for the first time develop severe cell cycle abnormalities that include increased DNA synthesis, mitotic arrest, appearance of convoluted nuclei with decondensed DNA, and formation of multinucleated cells. Here we report that Tax causes a drastic reduction in Pds1p/securin and Clb2p/cyclin B levels in yeast, rodent, and human cells and a loss of cell viability. With a temperature-sensitive mutant of the CDC23 subunit of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC), cdc23ts; a temperature-sensitive mutant of cdc20; and a cdh1-null mutant, we show that the diminution of Pds1p and Clb2p brought on by Tax is mediated via the Cdc20p-associated anaphase-promoting complex, APCCd20p. This loss of Pds1p/securin and Clb2p/cyclin B1 occurred before cellular entry into mitosis, caused a G2/M cell cycle block, and was accompanied by severe chromosome aneuploidy in both Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells and human diploid fibroblasts. Our results support the notion that Tax aberrantly targets and activates APCCdc20p, leading to unscheduled degradation of Pds1p/securin and Clb2p/cyclin B1, a delay or failure in mitotic entry and progression, and faulty chromosome transmission. The chromosomal instability resulting from a Tax-induced deficiency in securin and cyclin B1 provides an explanation for the highly aneuploid nature of adult T-cell leukemia cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5269-5281
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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