HTLV-V: a new human retrovirus isolated in a Tac-negative T cell lymphoma/leukemia

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Science  11 Dec 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4833, pp. 1581-1583
DOI: 10.1126/science.2825353


A new human retrovirus was isolated from a continuous cell line derived from a patient with CD4+ Tac- cutaneous T cell lymphoma/leukemia. This virus is related to but distinct from human T cell leukemia/lymphoma virus types I and II (HTLV-I and HTLV-II) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1). With the use of a fragment of provirus cloned from one patient with T cell leukemia, closely related sequences were found in DNA of the cell line and of tumor cells from seven other patients with the same disease; these sequences were only distantly related to HTLV-I. The phenotype of the cells and the clinical course of the disease were clearly distinguishable from leukemia associated with HTLV-I. All patients and the wife of one patient showed a weak serological cross-reactivity with both HTLV-I and HIV-1 antigens. None of the patients proved to be at any apparent risk for HIV-1 infection. The name proposed for this virus is HTLV-V, and the date indicate that it may be a primary etiological factor in the major group of cutaneous T cell lymphomas/leukemias, including the sporadic lymphomas known as mycoses fungoides.