Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 28639618
Nat Commun. 2017 Jun 22;8:15890.
The human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is efficiently transmitted through cellular contacts. While the molecular mechanisms of viral cell-to-cell propagation have been extensively studied in vitro, those facilitating the encounter between infected and target cells remain unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that HTLV-1-infected CD4 T cells secrete a potent chemoattractant, leukotriene B4 (LTB4). LTB4 secretion is dependent on Tax-induced transactivation of the pla2g4c gene, which encodes the cytosolic phospholipase A2 gamma. Inhibition of LTB4 secretion or LTB4 receptor knockdown on target cells reduces T-cell recruitment, cellular contact formation and virus propagation in vitro. Finally, blocking the synthesis of LTB4 in a humanized mouse model of HTLV-1 infection significantly reduces proviral load. This results from a decrease in the number of infected clones while their expansion is not impaired. This study shows the critical role of LTB4 secretion in HTLV-1 transmission both in vitro and in vivo.