1a–c). Maximal levels of expression were detected at 24 h for MIP-1α and at 6 h for MIP-1β and RANTES following Tax1 treatment. Interestingly, higher levels of MIP-1α were observed at 6 and 12 h when PBMCs were treated with Tax2A compared to Tax1 (Fig. 1a), while higher levels of MIP-1β and RANTES were detected after 3 and 6 h for Tax1 treatment compared to Tax2A (Fig. 1b,c).
These results indicated that HTLV-2 Tax protein induced a rapid and sustained production of MIP-1α, MIP-1β and RANTES. Tax1 and Tax2A recombinant proteins were assessed for their potential to activate the p65/RelA subunit, which is a well-established indicator of the canonical NF-κB pathway , a rapid-acting primary transcription factor. We also employed Tax2A/1–198 and Tax2A/135–331 recombinant Tax2A fragments containing NF-κB domains [28, 29] to evaluate their selleckchem potential to activate the NF-κB pathway compared to the entire Tax2A protein. Treated cells were immunolabelled
for the detection of phosphorylated p65/RelA by immunofluorescence. After 1 h, both the entire FK506 Tax2A and the Tax2A/1–198 fragment induced p65/RelA activation significantly over controls (14- and 10-fold, respectively, P < 0·05) (Fig. 2a). Significantly higher levels of activation were also observed when the entire Tax2A and the Tax2A/135–331 fragment were used to treat PBMCs for 2 h (27- and ninefold, respectively, P < 0·05). The complete Tax2A protein also induced significantly higher levels of p65/RelA activation compared to Tax1 and both Tax2A fragments after 2 h of treatment (Fig. 2b). Tax1 protein induced significant levels of p65/RelA activation at 1 (12-fold) and 2 h (eightfold) (P < 0·05). The Jurkat cell Aurora Kinase line served as a negative control and the HTLV-2-infected MoT cell line, displaying constitutive activation of NF-κB , served as positive control in the assay (Fig. 2c). It was observed that the activation of p65/RelA (Fig. 2a,b) by Tax2A preceded the secretion of MIP-1α, MIP-1β and RANTES in all conditions tested (Fig. 1). Next, the
binding activity of p65/RelA and p50 NF-κB subunits was assessed quantitatively in nuclear extracts from PBMCs treated with Tax2A or Tax1 proteins using the TransAM assay. Tax2A significantly enhanced the activation of both p65/RelA and p50 after 1 and 2 h compared to untreated and mock-treated controls (P < 0·001). Although Tax1 also induced high levels of both p65 and p50 activation by 1 (P < 0·05) and 2 h (P < 0·001) after treatment compared to controls (Fig. 3a,c), Tax2A induced significantly higher levels of p65/RelA activation than Tax1 following 1 h of treatment (P < 0·05) (Fig. 3a). Nuclear extracts from MoT and Raji nuclear extracts, used as positive controls, induced high levels of both p65/RelA and p50 activation (Fig. 3b,d).