HTLV-1 p12 I Protein Sequences from South America: Truncated Proteins and Common Genetic Signatures
Abstractp12 pX ORF-I (p12 I ) of simian T cell lymphotropic virus 1 from Central and West Africa is a 91-amino acid (aa) protein, contrasting with the known p12 sequences from human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1, which are 99 aa in length. An in silico sequence analysis shows a premature termination codon in HTLV-1 p12 I sequences from South American and Japanese strains. A translation analysis indicated the presence of 86-aa and 81-aa p12 I proteins, shorter than the 99-aa protein found in the majority of HTLV-1 strains around the world. This report shows one more common feature between these two viruses. Additionally, the HTLV-1 p12 signature reported as a genetic marker of Brazilian sequences (p12 I P63 and P91) is also highly prevalent in p12 Argentinean sequences. Because p12 I may confer a proliferative advantage on HTLV-1-infected cells the existence of naturally truncated proteins might supply insights into its pathogenic mechanisms.