What is it about?

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is a retrovirus that causes malignant B-cell lymphoma in up to ten percent of infected cattle. To date, the carcinogenesis mechanisms of BLV remain elusive. Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are small molecules capable of regulate gene expression. Although BLV-encoded miRNAs (i.e., BLV-miR-b4-3p) have been associated with the regulation of different genes involved in oncogenic pathways, this association has not been evaluated in cattle naturally infected with BLV. In this study, we observed that PXDN (a tumor suppressor gene) was significantly downregulated in BLV infected cattle. Considering that previous in vitro and ex vivo studies pointed out to PXDN as potential target of BLV-miR-b4-3p, the downregulation of PXDN in BLV-naturally infected cattle could be linked to blv-miR-b4-3p expression in these animals. Knowing that PXDN is involved in antitumoral pathways in B-cells, the results presented here suggest that blv-miR-b4-3p might be involved in BLV tumorigenesis in cattle naturally infected with BLV.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

To date, the role that BVL-encoded miRNAs play in carcinogenesis during natural infection in cattle has not been described. The results presented in our study suggest that blv-miR-b4-3p might be involved in BLV tumorigenesis during natural infection with BLV in cattle.


This work, is our first publication on virus related micro-RNAs and their involvement in viral pathogenesis. Working in a LMIC (with several budget restrictions) is extremely complex and difficult and we hope that the present study is the first of a series of follow-up studies.

Juan Jaworski

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Bovine leukemia virus encoded blv-miR-b4-3p microRNA is associated with reduced expression of anti-oncogenic gene in vivo, PLoS ONE, February 2023, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0281317.
You can read the full text:

Open access logo


The following have contributed to this page