Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) Tax protein activates the HTLV-1 long terminal repeat and key regulatory proteins involved in inflammation, activation, and proliferation and may induce cell transformation. Tax is also the immunodominant target antigen for cytotoxic T cells in HTLV-1 infection. We found that Tax bound to assembled nuclear proteasomes, but Tax could not be detected in the cytoplasm. Confocal microscopy revealed a partial colocalization of Tax with nuclear proteasomes. As Tax translocated into the nucleus very quickly after synthesis, this process probably takes place prior to and independent of proteasome association. Tax mutants revealed that both the Tax N and C termini play a role in proteasome binding. We also found that proteasomes from Tax-transfected cells had enhanced proteolytic activity on prototypic peptide substrates. This effect was not due to the induction of the LMP2 and LMP7 proteasome subunits. Furthermore, Tax appeared to be a long-lived protein, with a half-life of around 15 h. These data suggest that the association of Tax with the proteasome and the enhanced proteolytic activity do not target Tax for rapid degradation and may not determine its immunodominance.

Original publication




Journal article


J Virol

Publication Date





11106 - 11115


Biological Transport, Cell Line, Cell Nucleus, Cysteine Endopeptidases, Gene Products, tax, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Humans, Multienzyme Complexes, Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex