The tax gene of the human T-cell leukemia virus types I and II (HTLV-I and HTLV-II) is essential for viral replication and acts by increasing the level of RNA transcription. The tax genes of HTLV-I and HTLV-II encode proteins of 40 and 37 kilodaltons, respectively. By in vitro mutagenesis of the tax gene, we have investigated those regions of the protein which are essential for its function. Mutation of either the amino- or carboxy-terminal domain of the protein resulted in loss of trans-activation ability. In addition, specificity of its activity with regard to trans-activation of either the HTLV-I or HTLV-II long terminal repeats was conferred by the first 59 amino acids.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science