Viral and cellular gene expression are regulated by epigenetic alterations, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, nucleosome positioning, and chromatin looping. Human T‐cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV‐1) is a pathogenic retrovirus associated with inflammatory disorders and T‐cell lymphoproliferative malignancy. The transforming activity of HTLV‐1 is driven by the viral oncoprotein Tax, which acts as a transcriptional activator of the cAMP response element‐binding protein (CREB) and nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) pathways. The epigenetic effects of Tax and the induction of lymphoproliferative malignancy include alterations in DNA methylation and histone modifications. In addition, alterations in nucleosome positioning and DNA looping also occur in HTLV‐1‐induced malignant cells. A mechanistic definition of these effects will pave the way to new therapies for HTLV‐1‐associated disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number84
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • ATLL
  • Boundary element
  • CTCF
  • CpG methylation
  • HTLV
  • Histone methylation


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