1887

Abstract

The oncogenic E6 proteins produced by high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are invariably expressed in cervical carcinomas and are multifunctional proteins capable of affecting host-cell proliferation by binding and deregulating key host molecules such as p53. High-risk HPVs, including HPV16, have the unique ability to splice the E6 viral transcript, resulting in the production of a truncated E6 protein known as E6*I whose precise biological function is unclear. This study explored the changes in gene expression of the cervical cancer C33A cell line stably expressing HPV16 E6*I (16E6*I) and observed the upregulation of ten genes. Two of these genes were aldo-keto reductases (AKR1Cs), AKR1C1 and AKR1C3, which have been implicated in drug resistance. The results demonstrated that expression of 16E6*I, but not full-length E6, specifically increased transcript levels although it did not alter transcript levels. HPV16 E7 alone also had the ability to cause a moderate increase in at both mRNA and protein levels. Site-directed mutagenesis of 16E6*I revealed that transactivation activity was abolished in R8A, R10A and T17A 16E6*I mutants without altering their intracellular localization patterns. Loss of transactivation activity of the 16E6*I mutants resulted in a significant loss of AKR1C expression and a decrease in drug resistance. Analysis of the promoter revealed that, unlike the E6 protein, 16E6*I does not mediate transactivation activity solely through Sp1-binding sites. Taken together, it was concluded that 16E6*I has a novel function in upregulating expression of and, in concert with E7, has implications for drug treatment in HPV-mediated cervical cancer.

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2012-05-01
2021-07-25
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