Trans-Activation of the Coactivator-Associated Arginine Methyltransferase 1 (Carm1) Gene by the Oncogene Product Tax of Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Publications

Genes (Basel). 2024 May 27;15(6):698. doi: 10.3390/genes15060698.


Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. The oncogene product Tax of HTLV-I is thought to play crucial roles in leukemogenesis by promoting proliferation of the virus-infected cells through activation of growth-promoting genes. These genes code for growth factors and their receptors, cytokines, cell adhesion molecules, growth signal transducers, transcription factors and cell cycle regulators. We show here that Tax activates the gene coding for coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1), which epigenetically enhances gene expression through methylation of histones. Tax activated the Carm1 gene and increased protein expression, not only in human T-cell lines but also in normal peripheral blood lymphocytes (PHA-PBLs). Tax increased R17-methylated histone H3 on the target gene IL-2Rα, concomitant with increased expression of CARM1. Short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated knockdown of CARM1 decreased Tax-mediated induction of IL-2Rα and Cyclin D2 gene expression, reduced E2F activation and inhibited cell cycle progression. Tax acted via response elements in intron 1 of the Carm1 gene, through the NF-κB pathway. These results suggest that Tax-mediated activation of the Carm1 gene contributes to leukemogenic target-gene expression and cell cycle progression, identifying the first epigenetic target gene for Tax-mediated trans-activation in cell growth promotion.

PMID:38927636 | DOI:10.3390/genes15060698

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