Hijacking of the O-GlcNAcZYME complex by the HTLV-1 Tax oncoprotein facilitates viral transcription

Damien Groussaud, Mostafa Khair, Armelle I. Tollenaere, Laetitia Waast, Mei Shiue Kuo, Marianne Mangeney, Christophe Martella, Yann Fardini, Solène Coste, Mouloud Souidi, Laurence Benit, Claudine Pique, Tarik Issad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The viral Tax oncoprotein plays a key role in both Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-replication and HTLV-1-associated pathologies, notably adult T-cell leukemia. Tax governs the transcription from the viral 5’LTR, enhancing thereby its own expression, via the recruitment of dimers of phosphorylated CREB to cAMP-response elements located within the U3 region (vCRE). In addition to phosphorylation, CREB is also the target of O-GlcNAcylation, another reversible post-translational modification involved in a wide range of diseases, including cancers. O-GlcNAcylation consists in the addition of O-linked-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) on Serine or threonine residues, a process controlled by two enzymes: O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), which transfers O-GlcNAc on proteins, and O-GlcNAcase (OGA), which removes it. In this study, we investigated the status of O-GlcNAcylation enzymes in HTLV-1-transformed T cells. We found that OGA mRNA and protein expression levels are increased in HTLV-1-transformed T cells as compared to control T cell lines while OGT expression is unchanged. However, higher OGA production coincides with a reduction in OGA specific activity, showing that HTLV-1-transformed T cells produce high level of a less active form of OGA. Introducing Tax into HEK-293T cells or Tax-negative HTLV-1-transformed TL-om1 T cells is sufficient to inhibit OGA activity and increase total O-GlcNAcylation, without any change in OGT activity. Furthermore, Tax interacts with the OGT/OGA complex and inhibits the activity of OGT-bound OGA. Pharmacological inhibition of OGA increases CREB O-GlcNAcylation as well as HTLV-1-LTR transactivation by Tax and CREB recruitment to the LTR. Moreover, overexpression of wild-type CREB but not a CREB protein mutated on a previously described O-GlcNAcylation site enhances Tax-mediated LTR transactivation. Finally, both OGT and OGA are recruited to the LTR. These findings reveal the interplay between Tax and the O-GlcNAcylation pathway and identify new key molecular actors involved in the assembly of the Tax-dependent transactivation complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1006518
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hijacking of the O-GlcNAcZYME complex by the HTLV-1 Tax oncoprotein facilitates viral transcription'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this