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The Protease of Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type-1 is a Potential Therapeutic Target

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 12 ]

Author(s):

Jozsef Tozser and Irene T. Weber   Pages 1285 - 1294 ( 10 )

Abstract:


Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is associated with a number of human diseases. Although the mechanism by which the virus causes diseases is still not known, studies indicate that viral replication is critical for the development of HTLV-1 associated myelopathy, and initial studies suggested that blocking replication with reverse transcriptase inhibitors had a therapeutic effect. Therefore, based on the success of HIV-1 protease inhibitors, the HTLV-1 protease is also a potential target for chemotherapy. Furthermore, mutated residues in HIV-1 protease that confer drug resistance are frequently seen in equivalent positions of other retroviral proteases, like HTLV-1 protease. Therefore, comparison of HTLV-1 and HIV-1 proteases is expected to aid the rational design of broad spectrum inhibitors effective against various retroviral proteases, including the mutant HIV-1 enzymes appearing in drug resistance. This review describes the characteristics of HTLV-1 protease, makes comparison with HIV-1 protease, and discusses the status of inhibitor development for the HTLV-1 protease.

Keywords:

HTLV-1, HIV-1, life-cycle, proteolysis, viral protease

Affiliation:

Debrecen University, H-4012 Debrecen, P.O. Box 6, Hungary.



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