Gene expression profiling of p53 and c-myc in HTLV-1 positive blood donors in Congo

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Publications

Vopr Virusol. 2024 May 6;69(2):127-133. doi: 10.36233/0507-4088-199.


OBJECTIVES: The HTLV-1 infection persists for life, remaining as asymptomatic viral reservoirs in most patients, ensuring the chain of transmission, but around 4% develop adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL). HTLV-1 is an oncogenic retrovirus that transforms CD4+ T lymphocytes and deregulates the lymphoproliferative pathways that contribute to the development of ATLL. To achieve cell transformation, most oncogenic retroviruses use proto-oncogene capture transduction, with proviral integration disrupting the expression of tumor suppressors or proto-oncogenes.

THE AIM: We conducted this study on the prevalence of HTLV-1 infection in blood donors to expand the HTLV-1 database, assess the risk of transmission via blood products, as well as evaluate the risk of persistent infection or development of neoplastic diseases in HTLV-1 carriers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study of blood donors of all categories. For this study, 265 blood donors were recruited at the Centre National de Transfusion Sanguine in Brazzaville. After testing for HTLV-1 antibodies by ELISA, proviral DNA was extracted from all ELISA-positive samples for detection by nested PCR, followed by RT qPCR using specific primers p53 and c-myc for gene expression.

RESULTS: 20/265 were positive for anti-HTLV-1 antibody, 5 donors were positive for proviral DNA. The prevalence of HTLV-1 was 1.8%. All HTLV-1-positive donors were male (1.8%), with a positive correlation (p = 0.05); the 1.1% of positive donors were regular, with the majority aged between 31 and 45 years (1.5%), and concubine donors were the most frequent (1.1%). All samples showed normal expression of the p53 and c-myc genes.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence, though low, remains a serious problem. No abnormal p53 or c-myc gene expression was detected in HTLV-1-positive donors, which could mean that none of the T lymphocytes in these donors had been transformed by HTLV-1.

PMID:38843019 | DOI:10.36233/0507-4088-199

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