Dose-dependent dual effect of HTLV-1 Tax oncoprotein on p53-dependent nucleotide excision repair in human T-cells

Yana Schavinsky-Khrapunsky, Esther Priel, Mordechai Aboud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this study we investigated the effect of Tax on nucleotide excision repair (NER) in human T-cell lines by using the host cell repair analysis of UVC-irradiated reporter plasmid. This analysis revealed a p53-dpendent NER activity in wild type (w.t.) p53-containing T-cells and p53-independent NER in w.t. p53-lacking T-cells. Notably, in the w.t. p53-containing cells Tax exerted a dose-dependent dual effect on NER. While low Tax doses markedly stimulated this repair, high Tax doses strongly reduced it. Further experiments demonstrated that the low Tax doses enhanced, in these cells, the level and the transcriptional function of their w.t. p53 protein. On the other hand, although the high Tax doses further increased the level of p53, they functionally inactivated its accumulating molecules. Both of these Tax effects on p53 proved to be mediated by Tax-induced NF-κB-related mechanisms. Together, these data suggest that by NF-κB activation Tax elevates the level of the cellular w.t. p53. However, while at low Tax doses the elevating w.t. p53 molecules are functionally active and capable of stimulating NER, intensifying further the NF-κB activation by the high Tax doses concomitantly evokes certain mechanism(s) which functionally inactivates the accumulating p53 protein. In contrast to this dual effect on the p53-dependent NER, Tax displayed only an inhibitory effect on the p53-independent NER by its high doses, whereas its low doses had no effect on this repair. The mechanisms of the NF-κB-associated effects on the level and function of the cellular w.t.p53 and of the p53-independent NER noted in our experimental systems are further investigated in our laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-316
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2008


  • HTLV-1
  • Host cell reactivation (HCR)
  • Nucleotide excision repair (NER)
  • Tax
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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