Human T-cell lymphotropic virus-I (HTLV-I) is the cause of adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma. Various viral proteins, especially, but not exclusively, Tax have been implicated in oncogenesis, mostly through in vitro studies. Tax transactivates a large and apparently ever expanding list of human genes through transcriptional factors. Elucidating not only the pathways but also the timing of action of HTLV proteins is important for understanding the pathogenesis and development of new treatments.
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Competing interests: None declared.