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1.  Association of human papillomavirus type 16 long control region mutation and cervical cancer 
Virology Journal  2013;10:30.
Background
The variation of human papillomavirus (HPV) genes or HPV variants demonstrates different risks of cervical cancer. Mutation in the long control region (LCR) at YY1-motifs is one of the mechanisms for enhancing viral oncogene expression during the course of cancer cell progression. In Thai women, cervical cancers are almost always associated with HPV16 variant sub-lineage Asian (HPV16As); however, the mechanism involved remains elusive. The aim of this study was to understand further the oncogenic potential of HPV16As.
Methods
A total of 82 HPV16-positive specimens from Thai women were selected from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded cervical tissues, and the full length E6 gene of each specimen was amplified and sequenced. LCRs of the HPV16As-positive cases were amplified and sequenced to analyze their polymorphisms. Transcriptional activities of the HPV16As LCRs were then compared with sub-lineage European (EUR), sub-lineage Asian-American 1 (AA1) and HPV16 prototype by insertion of the LCRs into the pGL3-Basic vector.
Results
The HPV16 DNA sequences were classified as HPV16 prototype (18.3%), Asian (As, 61%), Asian American-1 (AA1, 8.5%), European (EUR, 7.3%), Asian African-2 (AFR2, 3.7%) and Java-135C (J135C, 1.2%). The prevalence of HPV16As was 30% in low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL), while that in high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) and squamous cell cervical carcinoma (SCC) were 63.9% and 66.7%, respectively, which demonstrates a significant association of HPV16As with the disease severity. LCR polymorphisms from 43 HPV16As positive cases were analyzed by PCR-sequencing. Thirty-eight nucleotide variation positions spanned nucleotide positions 7157–82. Ten new mutations found in the HPV16As LCRs were located predominantly at the enhancer and proximal to the 3’-end of the early promoter. The LCRs of the common HPV16As, EUR and AA1 showed 5, 13 and 23-fold higher activity than the HPV16 prototype LCR, while those of the new nucleotide variations of As showed 19 (As-sv1) and 30 (As-sv14) -fold higher activity than the HPV16 prototype.
Conclusions
HPV16As DNA sequence variation, especially at the proximal to early promoter in the LCR, enhances transcriptional activity. This could be one of the possible mechanisms for HPV16As-associated cervical cancer development.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-30
PMCID: PMC3599568  PMID: 23343096
HPV16; Sub-lineage Asian; Cervical cancer; Long control region
2.  Regulation of human papillomavirus type 11 enhancer and E6 promoter by activating and repressing proteins from the E2 open reading frame: functional and biochemical studies. 
Journal of Virology  1988;62(8):2994-3002.
E2-C, a protein consisting mainly of the carboxy-terminal 45% of the human papillomavirus type 11 (HPV-11) E2 protein, was expressed from the Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat in mammalian cells. It competitively repressed the stimulatory action of the full-length E2 protein on the HPV-11 enhancer located in the upstream regulatory region, as assayed by the expression of a reporter gene from the simian virus 40 (SV40) early promoter in transiently transfected monkey CV-1 cells. A mutation in the initiation codon for E2-C protein eliminated repression. In the human cervical carcinoma cell line C-33A, which apparently lacks endogenous HPV DNA, the HPV-11 enhancer-SV40 promoter and the HPV-11 enhancer in its normal association with the E6 promoter had high constitutive activity. In these cells, E2 proteins had little or no stimulatory effect on the transcriptional activity of the HPV-11 enhancer-SV40 promoter. In contrast, the HPV-11 enhancer-E6 promoter was stimulated by the HPV-11 E2 protein but repressed by the bovine papillomavirus type 1 E2 protein, an effect due either to a quantitative difference in E2 expression levels or to a qualitative difference in the trans-activating abilities of the two E2 proteins. In this cell line, the HPV-11 E2-C protein suppressed both the constitutive activity and the HPV-11 E2 trans activation. The E2-C protein was also produced from an expression vector in Escherichia coli. The E2-C protein present in crude E. coli lysates or purified by DNA affinity chromatography associated in vitro with a specific sequence, ACCN6GGT, in filter-binding assays. Moreover, the protein generated DNase I footprints spanning this motif identical to those of bacterially expressed full-length E2 proteins. This DNA sequence motif is necessary and sufficient for E2 binding in vitro and enhancer trans activation in vivo (H. Hirochika, R. Hirochika, T. R. Broker, and L. T. Chow, Genes Dev. 2:54-67, 1988). Mutations in this sequence that abolished interactions with E2 also precluded binding to the E2-C protein. These data strongly suggest that the full-length E2 protein consists of two functional domains: the amino-terminal half for trans activation and the carboxy-terminal half for DNA binding. The mechanism by which E2-C represses E2-dependent enhancer activity most likely involves competition with E2 for binding to a common transcriptional regulatory site.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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PMCID: PMC253738  PMID: 2839716
3.  The human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV18) E2 gene product is a repressor of the HPV18 regulatory region in human keratinocytes. 
Journal of Virology  1989;63(10):4317-4324.
The human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV18) long control region (LCR) harbors transcriptional promoter and enhancer elements. Recombinant plasmids bearing all or part of the HPV18 LCR cloned in enhancer or promoter configuration upstream of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene were transfected into human fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Although the HPV18 enhancer can function in the absence of E2 gene products in both fibroblasts and keratinocytes, the promoter activity of the HPV18 LCR is detectable in keratinocytes but not in fibroblasts, suggesting that it is tissue specific. This promoter activity was repressed in human keratinocytes not only by the bovine papillomavirus type 1 E2 gene product but also by the homologous HPV18 E2 gene product. The promoter involved in the HPV18 E2 repression is located within a 230-base-pair domain directly upstream of the E6 open reading frame of the HPV18 LCR and is probably the previously identified E6 promoter. Although one cannot rule out the possibility that this repressing effect is mediated by a truncated form of HPV18 E2 protein, as was previously demonstrated for bovine papillomavirus type 1, a more likely explanation would be that the full-length HPV18 E2 protein behaves as a repressor. Indeed, at the same doses at which it inhibits transcription from the homologous HPV18 LCR, the HPV18 E2 gene product activates transcription from constructs bearing E2-binding palindromes cloned in enhancer configuration upstream of a heterologous promoter. The fact that the homologous HPV18 E2 gene product acts as a transcriptional repressor of the HPV18 LCR suggests a possible explanation for the overexpression of E6 and E7 open reading frames in cervical carcinoma cells and in cell lines derived from them.
PMCID: PMC251048  PMID: 2476572
4.  Nuclear Matrix Attachment Regions of Human Papillomavirus Type 16 Repress or Activate the E6 Promoter, Depending on the Physical State of the Viral DNA 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(6):2489-2501.
Two nuclear matrix attachment regions (MARs) bracket a 550-bp segment of the long control region (LCR) containing the epithelial cell-specific enhancer and the E6 promoter of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16). One of these MARs is located in the 5′ third of the LCR (5′-LCR-MAR); the other lies within the E6 gene (E6-MAR). To study their function, we linked these MARs in various natural or artificial permutations to a chimeric gene consisting of the HPV-16 enhancer-promoter segment and a reporter gene. In transient transfections of HeLa cells, the presence of either of these two MARs strongly represses reporter gene expression. In contrast to this, but similar to the published behavior of cellular MARs, reporter gene expression is stimulated strongly by the E6-MAR and moderately by the 5′-LCR-MAR in stable transfectants of HeLa or C33A cells. To search for binding sites of soluble nuclear proteins which may be responsible for repression during transient transfections, we performed electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) of overlapping oligonucleotides that represented all sequences of these two MARs. Both MARs contain multiple sites for two strongly binding proteins and weak binding sites for additional factors. The strongest complex, with at least five binding sites in each MAR, is generated by the CCAAT displacement factor (CDP)/Cut, as judged by biochemical purification, by EMSAs with competing oligonucleotides and with anti-CDP/Cut oligonucleotides, and by mutations. CDP/Cut, a repressor that is down-regulated during differentiation, apparently represses HPV-16 transcription in undifferentiated epithelials cells and in HeLa cells, which are rich in CDP/Cut. In analogy to poorly understood mechanisms acting on cellular MARs, activation after physical linkage to chromosomal DNA may result from competition between the nuclear matrix and CDP/Cut. Our observations show that cis-responsive elements that regulate the HPV-16 E6 promoter are tightly clustered over at least 1.3 kb and occur throughout the E6 gene. HPV-16 MARs are context dependent transcriptional enhancers, and activated expression of HPV-16 oncogenes dependent on chromosomal integration may positively select tumorigenic cells during the multistep etiology of cervical cancer.
PMCID: PMC111737  PMID: 10684263
5.  The 3' region of Human Papillomavirus type 16 early mRNAs decrease expression 
Background
High risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infects mucosal surfaces and HR-HPV infection is required for development of cervical cancer. Accordingly, enforced expression of the early HR-HPV proteins can induce immortalisation of human cells. In most cervical cancers and cervical cancer cell lines the HR-HPV double stranded DNA genome has been integrated into the host cell genome.
Methods
We have used a retroviral GUS reporter system to generate pools of stably transfected HaCaT and SiHa cells. The HPV-16 early sequences that are deleted upon integration of the HPV-16 genome was inserted into the 3' UTR of the reporter mRNA. Pools containing thousands of independent integrations were tested for the steady state levels of the reporter mRNA by Real Time PCR and reporter protein by a GUS enzymatic activity assays. In addition, we tested the cellular distribution and half lives of the reporter mRNAs. The integrity of the reporter mRNAs were tested by northern blotting.
Results
We show that the 3' region of the HPV-16 early mRNAs (HPV-16 nucleotide (nt.) 2582–4214) act in cis to decrease both mRNA and protein levels. This region seems to affect transcription from the exogenous minimal CMV promoter or processing of the reporter mRNA. The observed repression was most pronounced at the protein level, suggesting that this sequence may also affect translation. For the HPV types: 2, 6, 11, 13, 18, 30, 31, and 35 we have investigated the regulatory effect of the regions corresponding to the HPV-16 nt. 3358–4214. For all types, except HPV-18, the region was found to repress expression by posttranscriptional mechanisms.
Conclusion
We find that the 3' region of HPV-16 early mRNAs interfere with gene expression. It is therefore possible that the deletion of the 3' part of early HPV-16 mRNAs occurring during cervical oncogenesis could contribute to transformation of cells through deregulation of the viral oncogene synthesis. Moreover, we find that the corresponding region from several other HPV types also repress expression, suggesting that the repression by this region may be a general feature of the HPV life cycle.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-5-83
PMCID: PMC1266366  PMID: 16225671
6.  The E8∧E2 Gene Product of Human Papillomavirus Type 16 Represses Early Transcription and Replication but Is Dispensable for Viral Plasmid Persistence in Keratinocytes▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(21):10841-10853.
A conserved E8∧E2 spliced mRNA is detected in keratinocytes transfected with human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) plasmid DNA. Expression of HPV-16 E8∧E2 (16-E8∧E2) is independent of the major early promoter, P97, and is modulated by both specific splicing events and conserved cis elements in the upstream regulatory region in a manner that differs from transcriptional regulation of other early viral genes. Mutations that disrupt the predicted 16-E8∧E2 message also increase initial HPV-16 plasmid amplification 8- to 15-fold and major early gene (P97) transcription 4- to 5-fold over those of the wild type (wt). Expressing the 16-E8∧E2 gene product from the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter represses HPV-16 early gene transcription from P97 in a dose-dependent manner, as detected by RNase protection assays. When expressed from the CMV promoter, 16-E8∧E2 also inhibits the amplification of an HPV-16 plasmid and a heterologous simian virus 40 (SV40) ori plasmid that contains E2 binding sites in cis. In contrast, cotransfections with HPV-16 wt genomes that express physiologic levels of 16-E8∧E2 are sufficient to repress HPV-16 plasmid amplification but are limiting and insufficient for the repression of SV40 amplification. 16-E8∧E2-dependent repression of HPV-16 E1 expression is sufficient to account for this observed inhibition of initial HPV-16 plasmid amplification. Unlike with other papillomaviruses, primary human keratinocytes immortalized by the HPV-16 E8 mutant genome contain more than eightfold-higher levels of unintegrated plasmid than the wt, demonstrating that 16-E8∧E2 limits the viral copy number but is not required for plasmid persistence and maintenance.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01481-08
PMCID: PMC2573160  PMID: 18753207
7.  Differential Requirements for Conserved E2 Binding Sites in the Life Cycle of Oncogenic Human Papillomavirus Type 31 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(2):1071-1077.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) E2 proteins regulate viral replication by binding to sites in the upstream regulatory region (URR) and by complex formation with the E1 origin recognition protein. In the genital HPV types, the distribution and location of four E2 binding sites (BS1 to BS4) which flank a single E1 binding site are highly conserved. We have examined the roles of these four E2 sites in the viral life cycle of HPV type 31 (HPV31) by using recently developed methods for the biosynthesis of papillomaviruses from transfected DNA templates (M. G. Frattini et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93:3062–3067, 1996). In transient assays, no single site was found to be necessary for replication, and mutation of the early promoter-proximal site (BS4) led to a fourfold increase in replication. Cotransfection of the HPV31 wild-type (HPV-wt) and mutant genomes with expression vectors revealed that E1 stimulated replication of HPV31-wt as well as the HPV31-BS1, -BS2, and -BS3 mutants. In contrast, increased expression of E2 decreased replication of these genomes. Replication of the HPV31-BS4 mutant genome was not further increased by cotransfection of E1 expression vectors but was stimulated by E2 coexpression. In stably transfected normal human keratinocytes, mutation of either BS1, BS3, or BS4 resulted in integration of viral genomes into host chromosomes. In contrast, mutation of BS2 had no effect on stable maintenance of episomes or copy number. Following growth of stably transfected lines in organotypic raft cultures, the differentiation-dependent induction of late gene expression and amplification of viral DNA of the BS2 mutant was found to be similar to that of HPV31-wt. We were unable to find a role for BS2 in our assays for viral functions. We conclude that at least three of the four E2 binding sites in the URRs of HPVs are essential for the productive viral life cycle. The specific arrangement of E2 binding sites within the URR appears to be more important for viral replication than merely the number of sites.
PMCID: PMC124579  PMID: 9445001
8.  Transactivation by the E2 Protein of Oncogenic Human Papillomavirus Type 31 Is Not Essential for Early and Late Viral Functions 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(10):8115-8123.
The activation of transcription and of DNA replication are, in some cases, mediated by the same proteins. A prime example is the E2 protein of human papillomaviruses (HPVs), which binds ACCN6GGT sequences and activates heterologous promoters from multimerized binding sites. The E2 protein also has functions in replication, where it complexes with the virally encoded origin recognition protein, E1. Much of the information on these activities is based on transient-transfection assays as well as biochemical analyses; however, their importance in the productive life cycle of oncogenic HPVs remains unclear. To determine the contributions of these E2 functions to the HPV life cycle, a genetic analysis was performed by using an organotypic tissue culture model. HPV type 31 (HPV31) genomes that contained mutations in the N terminus of E2 (amino acid 73) were constructed; these mutants retained replication activities but were transactivation defective. Following transfection of normal human keratinocytes, these mutant genomes were established as stable episomes and expressed early viral transcripts at levels similar to those of wild-type HPV31. Upon differentiation in organotypic raft cultures, the induction of late gene expression and amplification of viral DNA were detected in cell lines harboring mutant genomes. Interestingly, only a modest reduction in late gene expression was observed in the mutant lines. We conclude that the transactivation function of E2 is not essential for the viral life cycle of oncogenic HPVs, although it may act to moderately augment late expression. Our studies suggest that the primary positive role of E2 in the viral life cycle is as a replication factor.
PMCID: PMC110149  PMID: 9733852
9.  Nuclear Matrix Attachment Regions of Human Papillomavirus Type 16 Point toward Conservation of These Genomic Elements in All Genital Papillomaviruses 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(5):3610-3622.
The gene functions, transcriptional regulation, and genome replication of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have been extensively studied. Thus far, however, there has been little research on the organization of HPV genomes in the nuclei of infected cells. As a first step to understand how chromatin and suprachromatin structures may modulate the life cycles of these viruses, we have identified and mapped interactions of HPV DNAs with the nuclear matrix. The endogenous genomes of HPV type 16 (HPV-16) which are present in SiHa, HPKI, and HPKII cells, adhere in vivo to the nuclear matrixes of these cell lines. A tight association with the nuclear matrix in vivo may be common to all genital HPV types, as the genomes of HPV-11, HPV-16, HPV-18, and HPV-33 showed high affinity in vitro to preparations of the nuclear matrix of C33A cells, as did the well-known nuclear matrix attachment region (MAR) of the cellular beta interferon gene. Affinity to the nuclear matrix is not evenly spread over the HPV-16 genome. Five genomic segments have strong MAR properties, while the other parts of the genome have low or no affinity. Some of the five MARs correlate with known cis-responsive elements: a strong MAR lies in the 5′ segment of the long control region (LCR), and another one lies in the E6 gene, flanking the HPV enhancer, the replication origin, and the E6 promoter. The strongest MAR coincides with the E5 gene and the early-late intergenic region. Weak MAR activity is present in the E1 and E2 genes and in the 3′ part of L2. The in vitro map of MAR activity appears to reflect MAR properties in vivo, as we found for two selected fragments with and without MAR activity. As is typical for many MARs, the two segments with highest affinity, namely, the 5′ LCR and the early-late intergenic region, have an extraordinarily high A-T content (up to 85%). It is likely that these MARs have specific functions in the viral life cycle, as MARs predicted by nucleotide sequence analysis, patterns of A-T content, transcription factor YY1 binding sites, and likely topoisomerase II cleavage sites are conserved in similar positions throughout all genital HPVs.
PMCID: PMC109582  PMID: 9557642
10.  Adeno-Associated Virus Major Rep78 Protein Disrupts Binding of TATA-Binding Protein to the p97 Promoter of Human Papillomavirus Type 16† 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(5):2459-2465.
Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV) is known to inhibit the promoter activities of several oncogenes and viral genes, including the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E6 and E7 transforming genes. However, the target elements of AAV on the long control region (LCR) upstream of E6 and E7 oncogenes are elusive. A chloramphenicol acetyltransferase assay was performed to study the effect of AAV on the transcription activity of the HPV-16 LCR in SiHa (HPV-positive) and C-33A (HPV-negative) cells. The results reveal that (i) AAV inhibited HPV-16 LCR activity in a dose-dependent manner, (ii) AAV-mediated inhibition did not require the HPV gene products, and (iii) the AAV replication gene product Rep78 was involved in the inhibition. Deletion mutation analyses of the HPV-16 LCR showed that regulatory elements outside the core promoter region of the LCR may not be direct targets of AAV-mediated inhibition. Further study with the electrophoretic mobility shift assay demonstrated that Rep78 interfered with the binding of TATA-binding protein (TBP) to the TATA box of the p97 core promoter more significantly than it disrupted the preformed TBP-TATA complex. These data thus suggest that Rep78 may inhibit transcription initiation of the HPV-16 LCR by disrupting the interaction between TBP and the TATA box of the p97 core promoter.
PMCID: PMC111732  PMID: 10666281
11.  Genetic Analysis of High-Risk E6 in Episomal Maintenance of Human Papillomavirus Genomes in Primary Human Keratinocytes 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(22):11359-11364.
Papillomaviruses possess small DNA genomes that encode five early (E) proteins. Transient DNA replication requires activities of the E1 and E2 proteins and a DNA segment containing their binding sites. The E6 and E7 proteins of cancer-associated human papillomavirus (HPV) transform cells in culture. Recent reports have shown that E6 and E7 are necessary for episomal maintenance of HPV in primary keratinocytes. The functions of E6 necessary for viral replication have not been determined, and to address this question we used a recently developed transfection system based on HPV31. To utilize a series of HPV16 E6 mutations, HPV31 E6 was replaced by its HPV16 counterpart. This chimeric genome was competent for both transient and stable replication in keratinocytes. Four HPV16 E6 mutations that do not stimulate p53 degradation were unable to support stable viral replication, suggesting this activity may be necessary for episomal maintenance. E7 has also been shown to be essential for episomal maintenance of the HPV31 genome. A point mutation in the Rb binding motif of HPV E7 has been reported to render HPV31 unable to stably replicate. Interestingly, HPV31 genomes harboring two of the three p53 degradation-defective E6 mutations combined with this E7 mutation were maintained as replicating episomes. These findings imply that the balance between E6 and E7 functions in infected cells is critical for episomal maintenance of high-risk HPV genomes. This model will be useful to dissect the activities of E6 and E7 necessary for viral DNA replication.
doi:10.1128/JVI.76.22.11359-11364.2002
PMCID: PMC136782  PMID: 12388696
12.  Heparin (GAG-hed) inhibits LCR activity of Human Papillomavirus type 18 by decreasing AP1 binding 
BMC Cancer  2006;6:218.
Background
High risk HPVs are causative agents of anogenital cancers. Viral E6 and E7 genes are continuously expressed and are largely responsible for the oncogenic activity of these viruses. Transcription of the E6 and E7 genes is controlled by the viral Long Control Region (LCR), plus several cellular transcription factors including AP1 and the viral protein E2. Within the LCR, the binding and activity of the transcription factor AP1 represents a key regulatory event in maintaining E6/E7 gene expression and uncontrolled cell proliferation. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as heparin, can inhibit tumour growth; they have also shown antiviral effects and inhibition of AP1 transcriptional activity. The purpose of this study was to test the heparinoid GAG-hed, as a possible antiviral and antitumoral agent in an HPV18 positive HeLa cell line.
Methods
Using in vivo and in vitro approaches we tested GAG-hed effects on HeLa tumour cell growth, cell proliferation and on the expression of HPV18 E6/E7 oncogenes. GAG-hed effects on AP1 binding to HPV18-LCR-DNA were tested by EMSA.
Results
We were able to record the antitumoral effect of GAG-hed in vivo by using as a model tumours induced by injection of HeLa cells into athymic female mice. The antiviral effect of GAG-hed resulted in the inhibition of LCR activity and, consequently, the inhibition of E6 and E7 transcription. A specific diminishing of cell proliferation rates was observed in HeLa but not in HPV-free colorectal adenocarcinoma cells. Treated HeLa cells did not undergo apoptosis but the percentage of cells in G2/M phase of the cell cycle was increased. We also detected that GAG-hed prevents the binding of the transcription factor AP1 to the LCR.
Conclusion
Direct interaction of GAG-hed with the components of the AP1 complex and subsequent interference with its ability to correctly bind specific sites within the viral LCR may contribute to the inhibition of E6/E7 transcription and cell proliferation. Our data suggest that GAG-hed could have antitumoral and antiviral activity mainly by inhibiting AP1 binding to the HPV18-LCR.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-218
PMCID: PMC1574339  PMID: 16945153
13.  Functional Mapping of the Human Papillomavirus Type 16 E1 Cistron▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(21):10724-10734.
Replication of the double-stranded, circular human papillomavirus (HPV) genomes requires the viral DNA replicase E1. Here, we report an initial characterization of the E1 cistron of HPV type 16 (HPV-16), the most common oncogenic mucosal HPV type found in cervical and some head and neck cancers. The first step in HPV DNA replication is an initial burst of plasmid viral DNA amplification. Complementation assays between HPV-16 genomes carrying mutations in the early genes confirmed that the expression of E1 was necessary for initial HPV-16 plasmid synthesis. The major early HPV-16 promoter, P97, was dispensable for E1 production in the initial amplification because cis mutations inactivating P97 did not affect the trans complementation of E1− mutants. In contrast, E1 expression was abolished by cis mutations in the splice donor site at nucleotide (nt) 226, the splice acceptor site at nt 409, or a TATAA box at nt 7890. The mapping of 5′ mRNA ends using rapid amplification of cDNA ends defined a promoter with a transcription start site at HPV-16 nt 14, P14. P14-initiated mRNA levels were low and required intact TATAA (7890). E1 expression required the HPV-16 keratinocyte-dependent enhancer, since cis mutations in its AP-2 and TEF-1 motifs abolished the ability of the mutant genomes to complement E1− genomes, and it was further modulated by origin-proximal and -distal binding sites for the viral E2 gene products. We conclude that P14-initiated E1 expression is critical for and limiting in the initial amplification of the HPV-16 genome.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00921-08
PMCID: PMC2573179  PMID: 18753208
14.  Mechanism of Genomic Instability in Cells Infected with the High-Risk Human Papillomaviruses 
PLoS Pathogens  2009;5(4):e1000397.
In HPV–related cancers, the “high-risk” human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are frequently found integrated into the cellular genome. The integrated subgenomic HPV fragments express viral oncoproteins and carry an origin of DNA replication that is capable of initiating bidirectional DNA re-replication in the presence of HPV replication proteins E1 and E2, which ultimately leads to rearrangements within the locus of the integrated viral DNA. The current study indicates that the E1- and E2-dependent DNA replication from the integrated HPV origin follows the “onion skin”–type replication mode and generates a heterogeneous population of replication intermediates. These include linear, branched, open circular, and supercoiled plasmids, as identified by two-dimensional neutral-neutral gel-electrophoresis. We used immunofluorescence analysis to show that the DNA repair/recombination centers are assembled at the sites of the integrated HPV replication. These centers recruit viral and cellular replication proteins, the MRE complex, Ku70/80, ATM, Chk2, and, to some extent, ATRIP and Chk1 (S317). In addition, the synthesis of histone γH2AX, which is a hallmark of DNA double strand breaks, is induced, and Chk2 is activated by phosphorylation in the HPV–replicating cells. These changes suggest that the integrated HPV replication intermediates are processed by the activated cellular DNA repair/recombination machinery, which results in cross-chromosomal translocations as detected by metaphase FISH. We also confirmed that the replicating HPV episomes that expressed the physiological levels of viral replication proteins could induce genomic instability in the cells with integrated HPV. We conclude that the HPV replication origin within the host chromosome is one of the key factors that triggers the development of HPV–associated cancers. It could be used as a starting point for the “onion skin”–type of DNA replication whenever the HPV plasmid exists in the same cell, which endangers the host genomic integrity during the initial integration and after the de novo infection.
Author Summary
High-risk human papillomavirus infection can cause several types of cancers. During the normal virus life cycle, these viruses maintain their genomes as multicopy nuclear plasmids in infected cells. However, in cancer cells, the viral plasmids are lost, which leaves one of the HPV genomes to be integrated into the genome of the host cell. We suggest that the viral integration and the coexistence of episomal and integrated HPV genomes in the same cell play key roles in early events that lead to the formation of HPV–dependent cancer cells. We show that HPV replication proteins expressed at the physiological level from the viral extrachromosomal genome are capable of replicating episomal and integrated HPV simultaneously. Unscheduled replication of the integrated HPV induces a variety of changes in the host genome, such as excision, repair, recombination, and amplification, which also involve the flanking cellular DNA. As a result, genomic modifications occur, which could have a role in reprogramming the HPV–infected cells that leads to the development of cancer. We believe that the mechanism described in this study may reflect the underlying processes that take place in the genome of the HPV–infected cells and may also play a role in the formation of other types of cancers.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000397
PMCID: PMC2666264  PMID: 19390600
15.  Transient replication of human papillomavirus DNAs. 
Journal of Virology  1992;66(10):5949-5958.
Information on papillomavirus DNA replication has primarily derived from studies with bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV-1). Our knowledge of DNA replication of the human papillomaviruses (HPVs) is quite limited, in part because of the lack of a cell culture system capable of supporting the stable replication of HPV DNA. This study demonstrates that the full-length genomic DNAs of HPV types 11 and 18 (HPV-11 and HPV-18), but not HPV-16, are able to replicate transiently after transfection into several different human squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. This system was used to identify the viral cis and trans elements required for DNA replication. The viral origins of replication were localized to a region of the viral long control region. Like BPV-1, E1 and E2 were the only viral factors required in trans for the replication of plasmids containing the origin. Cotransfection of a plasmid expressing the E1 open reading frame (ORF) from HPV-11 with a plasmid that expresses the E2 ORF from HPV-6, HPV-11, HPV-16, or HPV-18 supported the replication of plasmid DNAs containing the origin regions of HPV-11, HPV-16, or HPV-18, indicating that there are functions shared among the corresponding E1 and E2 proteins and origins of these viruses. Although HPV-16 genomic DNA did not replicate by itself under experimental conditions that supported the replication of HPV-11 and HPV-18 genomic DNAs, expression of the HPV-16 early region functions from a strong heterologous promoter supported the replication of a cotransfected plasmid containing the HPV-16 origin of replication. This finding suggests that the inability of the HPV-16 genomic DNA to replicate transiently in the cell lines tested was most likely due to insufficient expression of the viral E1 and/or E2 genes required for DNA replication.
Images
PMCID: PMC241472  PMID: 1326651
16.  Inactivation of p53 Rescues the Maintenance of High Risk HPV DNA Genomes Deficient in Expression of E6 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(10):e1003717.
The human papillomavirus DNA genome undergoes three distinct stages of replication: establishment, maintenance and amplification. We show that the HPV16 E6 protein is required for the maintenance of the HPV16 DNA genome as an extrachromosomal, nuclear plasmid in its natural host cell, the human keratinocyte. Based upon mutational analyses, inactivation of p53 by E6, but not necessarily E6-mediated degradation of p53, was found to correlate with the ability of E6 to support maintenance of the HPV16 genome as a nuclear plasmid. Inactivation of p53 with dominant negative p53 rescued the ability of HPV16 E6STOP and E6SAT mutant genomes to replicate as extrachromosomal genomes, though not to the same degree as observed for the HPV16 E6 wild-type (WT) genome. Inactivation of p53 also rescued the ability of HPV18 and HPV31 E6-deficient genomes to be maintained at copy numbers comparable to that of HPV18 and HPV31 E6WT genomes at early passages, though upon further passaging copy numbers for the HPV18 and 31 E6-deficient genomes lessened compared to that of the WT genomes. We conclude that inactivation of p53 is necessary for maintenance of HPV16 and for HPV18 and 31 to replicate at WT copy number, but that additional functions of E6 independent of inactivating p53 must also contribute to the maintenance of these genomes. Together these results suggest that re-activation of p53 may be a possible means for eradicating extrachromosomal HPV16, 18 or 31 genomes in the context of persistent infections.
Author Summary
Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) infect epithelial tissues. HPVs that infect mucosal epithelia cause infectious lesions in the anogenital tract and oral cavity. HPV infections are normally cleared by the immune system; however, in rare cases, infections can persist for years. Persistent infections by certain HPVs place one at a high risk of developing carcinomas of the cervix, other anogenital tissues, and the head/neck region. These HPVs are responsible for over 5% of all human cancers. For an HPV infection to persist, the viral circular genome must be maintained, i.e. replicated and inherited during cell division. In this study we define the mechanism by which the viral gene E6 contributes to the maintenance of the HPV genome. We demonstrate that E6 must inactivate the cellular factor, p53, for the viral genome to be maintained. Significantly, p53, is inactivated in many types of human cancers and because much research has been done on p53, promising new drugs have been identified that can re-activate p53. If such drugs can re-activate the p53 that has been inactivated by E6, then we hypothesize that these drugs could be used to cure patients with persistent HPV infections and thereby reduce their risk of developing HPV associated cancers.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003717
PMCID: PMC3812038  PMID: 24204267
17.  Transactivation-Competent Bovine Papillomavirus E2 Protein Is Specifically Required for Efficient Repression of Human Papillomavirus Oncogene Expression and for Acute Growth Inhibition of Cervical Carcinoma Cell Lines 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(5):3925-3934.
The papillomavirus E2 proteins can function as sequence-specific transactivators or transrepressors of transcription and as cofactors in viral DNA replication. We previously demonstrated that acute expression of the bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV1) E2 protein in HeLa and HT-3 cervical carcinoma cell lines greatly reduced cellular proliferation by imposing a specific G1/S phase growth arrest. In this report, we analyzed the effects of a panel of point mutations in the BPV1 E2 protein to identify the functional requirements for acute growth inhibition. Disruption of E2-specific transactivation by mutations within either the transactivation domain or the DNA binding domain severely impaired E2-mediated growth inhibition in HeLa and HT-3 cells, even though these mutants retain various other E2 activities. This result indicates that functional transactivation activity is required for acute E2-mediated growth inhibition. HeLa cells, which contain a wild-type p53 gene, and HT-3 cells, which contain a transactivation-defective p53 gene, exhibited similar responses to the E2 mutants, suggesting that identical functions of the E2 protein were required for growth arrest regardless of p53 status. Replacement of the E2 transactivation domain with that of the herpes simplex virus VP16 generated a chimeric transactivator that efficiently stimulated expression of an E2-responsive reporter plasmid yet was completely defective for growth inhibition, suggesting that an E2-specific transactivation function is required for growth arrest. Surprisingly, the transactivation-defective E2 mutants were also markedly defective in their ability to repress transcription of the native human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV18) E6/E7 oncogenes in HeLa cells and of the HPV18 promoter present in a transfected reporter plasmid. These mutants were also defective in their ability to increase p53 levels. Therefore, efficient repression of the HPV18 promoter in HeLa cells is not merely a consequence of the binding of an E2 protein to appropriately situated binding sites in the promoter.
PMCID: PMC109618  PMID: 9557678
18.  Regulation of human papillomavirus transcription by the differentiation-dependent epithelial factor Epoc-1/skn-1a. 
Journal of Virology  1996;70(1):10-16.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) early gene expression is closely linked to the differentiation status of infected epithelial cells. Typically, HPV type 16 (HPV16) or HPV18 E6 and E7 transcripts are only barely detectable within the undifferentiated basal cell layer, but their levels increase concomitantly with higher degrees of epithelial cell differentiation in suprabasal cells. A similar differentiation-dependent distribution of expression has been reported for the recently cloned epithelial cell specific transcription factor Epoc-1/skn-1a. We therefore examined whether Epoc-1/skn-1a may be directly involved in the activation of HPV E6/E7 transcription. Transient transfection studies showed that Epoc-1/skn-1a specifically stimulated the HPV16 and HPV18 E6/E7 promoters. Moreover, ectopically expressed Epoc-1/skn-1a was sufficient to stimulate HPV transcription also in nonepithelial cells. By deletion analyses, the Epoc-1/skn-1a-responsive element was mapped to the promoter-proximal portion of the HPV18 transcriptional control region. Footprint analyses and gel retardation assays demonstrated direct binding of Epoc-1/skn-1a to a hitherto uncharacterized site within this region. Mutation of the Epoc-1/skn-1a recognition site within the context of the complete HPV18 upstream regulatory region inhibited Epoc-1/skn-1a-mediated transactivation. These results show that Epoc-1/skn-1a can directly activate the E6/E7 promoter by binding to the viral transcriptional control region. Thus, Epoc-1/skn-1a may be involved in the differentiation-dependent regulation of HPV transcription.
PMCID: PMC189781  PMID: 8523512
19.  An E1M--E2C fusion protein encoded by human papillomavirus type 11 is asequence-specific transcription repressor. 
Journal of Virology  1991;65(6):3317-3329.
We have isolated a putative, spliced E5 cDNA of human papillomavirus type 11 (HPV-11) by polymerase chain reaction amplification of cDNAs from an experimental condyloma. Using retrovirus-mediated gene transfer, we isolated two novel HPV-11 cDNAs, one of which had a splice linking nucleotides 1272 and 3377. This transcript also existed in experimental condylomata and in cervical carcinoma cells transfected with cloned genomic HPV-11 DNAs. The 5' end of the transcript in transfected cells originated upstream of the initiation codon of the E1 open reading frame (ORF). It could conceptually encode a fusion protein consisting of the amino-terminal 23% of the E1 ORF and the carboxy-terminal 40% of the E2 ORF. This E1M--E2C fusion protein contained both the DNA replication modulator domain E1M, as defined in the bovine papillomavirus system, and the DNA binding domain of the E2 protein, which regulates viral transcriptional activities. Indirect immunofluorescence with polyclonal antibodies raised against the bacterially expressed TrpE-HPV-11 E2 protein demonstrated nuclear localization of the E1M--E2C protein in cells transiently transfected with an expression plasmid. Immunoprecipitation revealed a specific protein with an apparent molecular weight of 42,000 in transfected cells. The chloramphenicol acetyltransferase assay established that the putative E1M--E2C protein was a potent transcriptional repressor of both E2-dependent and E2-independent HPV-11 enhancer/promoter activities. Northern (RNA) blot hybridization indicated the repression was on the transcriptional level. Mutational analysis suggested that the E1M--E2C protein is an E2-binding site-specific repressor. The fusion protein also repressed bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV-1) E2 protein-dependent BPV-1 enhancer activity. When constitutively expressed in mouse C127 cells, the E1M--E2C protein inhibited BPV-1 transformation and episomal DNA replication, consistent with a role in the modulation of replication.
Images
PMCID: PMC240990  PMID: 1851879
20.  Yin Yang 1 Negatively Regulates the Differentiation-Specific E1 Promoter of Human Papillomavirus Type 6 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(11):5198-5205.
Human papillomavirus type 6 (HPV-6) is a low-risk HPV whose replication cycle, like that of all HPVs, is differentiation dependent. We have previously shown that CCAAT displacement protein (CDP) binds the differentiation-induced HPV-6 E1 promoter and negatively regulates its activity in undifferentiated cells (W. Ai, E. Toussaint, and A. Roman, J. Virol. 73:4220–4229, 1999). Using electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs), we now report that Yin Yang 1 (YY1), a multifunctional protein that can act as a transcriptional activator or repressor and that can also inhibit HPV replication in vitro, binds the HPV-6 E1 promoter. EMSAs, using subfragments of the promoter as competitors, showed that the YY1 binding site is located at the 5′ end of the E1 promoter. When a putative YY1 site was mutated, the ability of YY1 to bind was greatly decreased. The activity of the mutated E1 promoter, monitored with the reporter gene luciferase, was threefold greater than that of the wild-type promoter, suggesting that YY1 negatively regulates HPV-6 E1 promoter activity. Nuclear extracts from differentiated keratinocytes showed decreased binding of YY1 to the wild-type promoter. Consistent with this, in differentiated keratinocytes, the activity of the transfected luciferase gene transcribed from the mutated promoter was comparable to that of the wild-type promoter; both promoters were up-regulated in differentiated keratinocytes compared to undifferentiated cells. These data suggest that YY1 functions in undifferentiated keratinocytes but not in differentiated keratinocytes. Both the wild-type and mutated promoters could be negatively regulated by overexpression of a plasmid encoding CDP. Thus, both YY1 and CDP appear to be negative regulators of the differentiation-induced HPV-6 E1 promoter and thereby the HPV life cycle. In contrast, only binding of CDP was detected using the E1 promoter of the high-risk HPV-31.
PMCID: PMC110873  PMID: 10799595
21.  Transcriptional activation of the human papillomavirus type 5 and 16 long control region in cells from cutaneous and mucosal origin 
Virology Journal  2007;4:27.
Human papillomavirus type-16 (HPV-16) infects mucosal epithelium and is the most common type found in cervical cancer. HPV-5 infects cornified epithelium and is the most common type found on normal skin and belongs to the types frequently associated with skin cancers of Epidermodysplasia verruciformis patients. One factor by which this anatomical tropism could be determined is the regulation of HPV gene expression in the host cell. The HPV long control region (LCR) contains cis-responsive elements that regulate HPV transcription and the epithelial tropism of HPV is determined by epithelial specific constitutive enhancers in the LCR. Since HPV-16 and other types infecting the mucosa differ in host cell from HPV types infecting skin, it has been hypothesized that it is the combination of ubiquitous transcription factors working in concert in the host cell that determines the cell-type-specific expression. To study if HPV tropism could be determined by differences in transcriptional regulation we have cloned the transcriptional regulating region, LCR, from HPV-16 and HPV-5 and studied the activation of a reporter gene in cell lines with different origin. To analyse promoter activity we transfected the plasmids into four different cell lines; HaCaT, C33A, NIKS and W12E and the efficiency of HPV-5 and HPV-16 LCR in the different cell lines was compared. In HaCaT cells, with a skin origin, the HPV-5 LCR was two-fold more efficient in transcriptional activation compared to the HPV-16 LCR. In cervical W12E cells the HPV-16 LCR was almost 2-fold more effective in activating transcription compared to the HPV-5 LCR. The ability to initiate transcription in the other cell lines was independent on cell origin and HPV-type.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-4-27
PMCID: PMC1828153  PMID: 17352804
22.  Interaction of the Papillomavirus E8∧E2C Protein with the Cellular CHD6 Protein Contributes to Transcriptional Repression▿ †  
Journal of Virology  2010;84(18):9505-9515.
Expression of the E6 and E7 oncogenes of high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) is controlled by cellular transcription factors and by viral E2 and E8∧E2C proteins, which are both derived from the HPV E2 gene. Both proteins bind to and repress the HPV E6/E7 promoter. Promoter inhibition has been suggested to be due to binding site competition with cellular transcription factors and to interactions of different cellular transcription modulators with the different amino termini of E2 and E8∧E2C. We have now identified the cellular chromodomain helicase DNA binding domain 6 protein (CHD6) as a novel interactor with HPV31 E8∧E2C by using yeast two-hybrid screening. Pull-down and coimmunoprecipitation assays indicate that CHD6 interacts with the HPV31 E8∧E2C protein via the E2C domain. This interaction is conserved, as it occurs also with the E8∧E2C proteins expressed by HPV16 and -18 and with the HPV31 E2 protein. Both RNA knockdown experiments and mutational analyses of the E2C domain suggest that binding of CHD6 to E8∧E2C contributes to the transcriptional repression of the HPV E6/E7 oncogene promoter. We provide evidence that CHD6 is also involved in transcriptional repression but not activation by E2. Taken together our results indicate that the E2C domain not only mediates specific DNA binding but also has an additional role in transcriptional repression by recruitment of the CHD6 protein. This suggests that repression of the E6/E7 promoter by E2 and E8∧E2C involves multiple interactions with host cell proteins through different protein domains.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00678-10
PMCID: PMC2937640  PMID: 20631145
23.  Large Scale Genotype Comparison of Human Papillomavirus E2-Host Interaction Networks Provides New Insights for E2 Molecular Functions 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(6):e1002761.
Human Papillomaviruses (HPV) cause widespread infections in humans, resulting in latent infections or diseases ranging from benign hyperplasia to cancers. HPV-induced pathologies result from complex interplays between viral proteins and the host proteome. Given the major public health concern due to HPV-associated cancers, most studies have focused on the early proteins expressed by HPV genotypes with high oncogenic potential (designated high-risk HPV or HR-HPV). To advance the global understanding of HPV pathogenesis, we mapped the virus/host interaction networks of the E2 regulatory protein from 12 genotypes representative of the range of HPV pathogenicity. Large-scale identification of E2-interaction partners was performed by yeast two-hybrid screenings of a HaCaT cDNA library. Based on a high-confidence scoring scheme, a subset of these partners was then validated for pair-wise interaction in mammalian cells with the whole range of the 12 E2 proteins, allowing a comparative interaction analysis. Hierarchical clustering of E2-host interaction profiles mostly recapitulated HPV phylogeny and provides clues to the involvement of E2 in HPV infection. A set of cellular proteins could thus be identified discriminating, among the mucosal HPV, E2 proteins of HR-HPV 16 or 18 from the non-oncogenic genital HPV. The study of the interaction networks revealed a preferential hijacking of highly connected cellular proteins and the targeting of several functional families. These include transcription regulation, regulation of apoptosis, RNA processing, ubiquitination and intracellular trafficking. The present work provides an overview of E2 biological functions across multiple HPV genotypes.
Author Summary
Over 100 types of human papillomaviruses are responsible for widespread infections in humans. They cause a wide range of pathologies, ranging from inapparent infections to benign lesions, hyperplasia or cancers. Such heterogeneity results from variable interplay among viral and host cell proteins. Aiming to identify specific features that distinguish different pathological genotypes, we mapped the virus-host interaction networks of the regulatory E2 proteins from a set of 12 genotypes representative of HPV diversity. The E2-host interaction profiles recapitulate HPV phylogeny, thus providing a valuable framework for understanding the role of E2 in HPV infection of different pathological traits. The E2 proteins tend to bind to highly connected cellular proteins, indicating a profound effect on the host cell. These interactions predominantly impact on a subset of cellular processes, like transcriptional regulation, apoptosis, RNA metabolism, ubiquitination or intracellular transport. This work improves the global understanding of HPV-associated pathologies, and provides a framework to select interactions that can be used as targets for the development of new therapeutics.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002761
PMCID: PMC3386243  PMID: 22761572
24.  The E8̂E2C Protein, a Negative Regulator of Viral Transcription and Replication, Is Required for Extrachromosomal Maintenance of Human Papillomavirus Type 31 in Keratinocytes 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(3):1178-1186.
The viral E2 protein is a major regulator of papillomavirus DNA replication. An important way to influence viral replication is through modulation of the activity of the E2 protein. This could occur through the action of truncated E2 proteins, called E2 repressors, whose role in the replication cycle of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) has not been determined. In this study, using cell lines that contain episomal copies of the “high-risk” HPV type 31 (HPV31), we have identified viral transcripts with a splice from nucleotide (nt) 1296 to 3295. These transcripts are similar to RNAs from other animal and human papillomaviruses and have the potential to fuse a small open reading frame (E8) to the C terminus of E2, resulting in an E8 ^E2C fusion protein. E8 ^E2C transcripts were present throughout the complete replication cycle of HPV31. A genetic analysis of E8 ^E2C in the context of the HPV31 genome revealed that mutation of the single ATG of the E8 gene, introduction of a stop codon downstream of the ATG, or disruption of the splice donor site at nt 1296 led to a dramatic 30- to 40-fold increase in the transient DNA replication levels in both normal and immortalized human keratinocytes. High-level expression of E8 ^E2C from heterologous vectors was found to inhibit E1-E2-dependent DNA replication of an HPV31 origin of replication construct as well as to interfere with E2's ability to transactivate reporter gene constructs. In addition, HPV31 E8 ^E2C strongly repressed the basal activity of the major viral early promoter P97 independent of E2. E8 ^E2C may therefore exert its negative effect on viral DNA replication through modulating E2's ability to enhance E1-dependent DNA replication as well as by regulating viral gene expression. Surprisingly, HPV31 genomes that were unable to express E8 ^E2C could not be maintained extrachromosomally in human keratinocytes in long-term assays despite high transient DNA replication levels. This suggests that the E8 ^E2C protein may play a role in copy number control as well as in the stable maintenance of HPV episomes.
PMCID: PMC111452  PMID: 10627528
25.  NFI-Ski Interactions Mediate Transforming Growth Factor β Modulation of Human Papillomavirus Type 16 Early Gene Expression 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(8):3953-3964.
Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are present in virtually all cervical cancers. An important step in the development of malignant disease, including cervical cancer, involves a loss of sensitivity to transforming growth factor β (TGF-β). HPV type 16 (HPV16) early gene expression, including that of the E6 and E7 oncoprotein genes, is under the control of the upstream regulatory region (URR), and E6 and E7 expression in HPV16-immortalized human epithelial cells is inhibited at the transcriptional level by TGF-β. While the URR contains a myriad of transcription factor binding sites, including seven binding sites for nuclear factor I (NFI), the specific sequences within the URR or the transcription factors responsible for TGF-β modulation of the URR remain unknown. To identify potential transcription factors and binding sites involved in TGF-β modulation of the URR, we performed DNase I footprint analysis on the HPV16 URR using nuclear extracts from TGF-β-sensitive HPV16-immortalized human keratinocytes (HKc/HPV16) treated with and without TGF-β. Differentially protected regions were found to be located around NFI binding sites. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays, using the NFI binding sites as probes, showed decreased binding upon TGF-β treatment. This decrease in binding was not due to reduced NFI protein or NFI mRNA levels. Mutational analysis of individual and multiple NFI binding sites in the URR defined their role in TGF-β sensitivity of the promoter. Overexpression of the NFI family members in HKc/HPV16 decreased the ability of TGF-β to inhibit the URR. Since the oncoprotein Ski has been shown to interact with and increase the transcriptional activity of NFI and since cellular Ski levels are decreased by TGF-β treatment, we explored the possibility that Ski may provide a link between TGF-β signaling and NFI activity. Anti-NFI antibodies coimmunoprecipitated endogenous Ski in nuclear extracts from HKc/HPV16, confirming that NFI and Ski interact in these cells. Ski levels dramatically decreased upon TGF-β treatment of HKc/HPV16, and overexpression of Ski eliminated the ability of TGF-β to inhibit the URR. Based on these studies, we propose that TGF-β inhibition of HPV16 early gene expression is mediated by a decrease in Ski levels, which in turn dramatically reduces NFI activity.
doi:10.1128/JVI.78.8.3953-3964.2004
PMCID: PMC374275  PMID: 15047811

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