The overall objective of the Phase I research plan is to better define the leukemogenicity of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) in order to help to elucidate the leukemogenic mechanisms of the analogous human T-cell lymphotropic viruses. This will be accomplished through a detailed program of basic science education and investigative research.
The aims of Phase I are: 1) to gain further general knowledge in cellular and molecular biology, 2) to define the target cell specificity of BLV infection, 3) to investigate aberrations in transcription of various lymphokine genes in BLV-infected cells.
Aim #1 will involve the completion of the requirements for the Ph.D. and the requirements of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at Colorado State University.
Aim # 's 2 and 3 will be accomplished using molecular biological techniques on separated bovine peripheral blood leukocyte (PBL) subpopulations (B-cells, T-cells, monocytes, etc.). BLV infection in PBL subpopulations derived from BLV-infected cattle will be determined by Southern blot hybridization. Differences in transcription of various lymphokine genes in the PBL subpopulations from BLV-infected and uninfected cattle will be examined by northern blot hybridization. Results of the proposed study will further elucidate the leukemogenic mechanisms of retroviral-induced leukemias and further our knowledge of gene regulation as it pertains to disease processes. The overall objective of Phase II is to develop an intensive research program in the area of DNA/protein interactions. Although specific aims have not been formulated for Phase II a possible system in which this field of interest (DNA/protein interactions) will be investigated would be the role of the BLV tat protein in enhancing transcription of lymphokine genes.