IMR Press / FBS / Volume 1 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/S20

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Gene activation therapy: from the BLV model to HAM/TSP patients
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1 Laboratory of Virology-Immunology, Neurology and JE 2503, University Hospital of Fort-de-France, 97200 Fort-de-France, Martinique, France
2 Center for infection, St George's, University of London, London, UK
3 Department of Immunology, WrightFleming Institute, Imperial College London, St Mary's campus, London, UK
4 Molecular and Cellular Biology, University Academia Wallonie Europe, Gembloux, Belgium

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Franco Buonaguro

Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2009, 1(1), 205–215;
Published: 1 June 2009

HTLV-1 (human T-lymphotropic virus type 1) and BLV (bovine leukemia virus) are two related retroviruses infecting CD4+ and B lymphocytes in humans and ruminants, respectively. During infection, the host-pathogen interplay is characterized by very dynamic kinetics resulting in equilibrium between the virus, which attempts to proliferate, and the immune response, which seeks to exert tight control of the virus. A major determinant of disease induction by both viruses is the accumulation of provirus in peripheral blood. In the absence of viral proteins, virus infected cells escape recognition and destruction by the host immune response. We propose a novel therapeutic strategy based on transient activation of viral expression using epigenetic modulators; this exposes infected cells to the immune response and results in significant reductions in proviral loads. In the absence of satisfactory therapies, this viral gene-activation strategy might delay progression, or even be curative, for HTLV-1 induced myelopathy / tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP).

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