Carine VAN LINT
This unit investigates the role played by epigenetic modifications (histone acetylation, histone methylation and DNA methylation) in the control of transcriptional latency and the reactivation of three retroviruses: HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), HTLV-1 (human T cell leukemia virus) and BLV (bovine leukemia virus).
Infection with these viruses is characterized by viral latency in the majority of infected cells and lack of viremia (in the case of HTLV-1 and BLV). These features are due to the transcriptional repression of viral expression in vivo, but the mechanisms involved in this repression are not yet fully elucidated. Epigenetic changes may be one of the pathways for infected cells to escape the immune response mediated by the infected host and most likely to promote tumor development in the case of BLV and HTLV-1.