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Latency correlates with base composition similarities between HTLV1 and EBV

Posted by forsdyke on 17 Nov 2014 at 02:59 GMT

Unlike other HTLV1 proteins, the latency-controlling HBZ protein is encoded by the antisense strand. Thus, whereas the ‘top’ sense strand of the latent virus is "pyrimidine-rich", the complementary, ‘bottom,’ antisense strand that encodes HBZ is "purine-rich". In their introduction, the authors suggest there may be similarities between profound latency in HTLV1 and that in the herpes viruses (e.g. EBV), but do not note a startling base composition similarity. Like HTLV1, in these herpes viruses the strand encoding most proteins is extremely pyrimidine-rich, but the sequence encoding the main latency-controlling protein (e.g. EBNA1 in EBV) is extremely purine-rich. This suggests similarities in the latency-controlling mechanisms (see Microbes and Infection 16, 96-103; DOI : 10.1016/j.micinf.2013.10.017).

No competing interests declared.