Papillomavirus replication in vivo requires the interaction of the virally encoded proteins E1 and E2 with the origin of replication which is localised in the regulatory region (long control region or LCR) of the viral genome. In genital human papillomaviruses (HPVs), the origin overlaps promoter elements of early transcription. In this study, we analysed the replication of HPV18 DNA using the complete LCR containing mutations in transcription regulatory elements. We found that each of the three E2 binding sites proximal to the AT-rich sequence of the origin contributes to the replication rate of DNA, although not identically. In addition, two sequences important for early transcription, an Sp1 binding site and the TATA box, were also found to play a role in replication. In contrast, two AP1 binding sites required for the enhancer-mediated activation of early transcription did not affect the replication, while other upstream sequences in the LCR did contribute to the replication efficiency. Our results indicate that besides a core origin of replication containing an AT-rich sequence and three E2 binding sites, auxiliary elements affect HPV18 DNA replication in the context of the full length LCR, some of which are important for transcription.
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.
We identified a conditional transcriptional enhancer in the long control region (LCR) of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16). This conditional enhancer requires activation in trans by a product of the viral early-region open reading frames (ORFs). Primer extension analysis of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase RNA isolated from transiently transfected CV-1 cells demonstrated that trans-activation of the HPV-16 LCR enhancer operated at the transcriptional level. Mutational analysis of the early ORFs demonstrated that the conditional enhancer of the LCR was trans-activated by the product of the E2 ORF. The E2 gene product of bovine papillomavirus type 1, which can trans-activate the conditional enhancer in the bovine papillomavirus type 1 LCR, was also capable of trans-activating the E2-responsive enhancer of HPV-16. The activity of the HPV-16 LCR enhancer was also assayed in two human cervical carcinoma cell lines, HeLa and SiHa, which harbor transcriptionally active, integrated HPV-18 and HPV-16 DNA sequences, respectively. No endogenous E2 or E2-like activity was detected in either cell line.
The human papillomavirus types 16 (HPV-16) and 18 (HPV-18) can immortalize primary human keratinocytes. The region of the viral genome responsible for this function maps to the E6 and E7 genes and their respective upstream transcriptional regulatory sequences, the long control regions (LCRs). The HPV-18 LCR/E6/E7 is more efficient in this immortalization function than the analogous region of the HPV-16 genome, resembling the difference in the immortalization potentials of the two full-length viral genomes. This study was designed to examine the basis for the difference in HPV-16 and HPV-18 immortalization efficiencies. The E6 and E7 genes of either HPV-16 or HPV-18, when expressed from the same heterologous promoter, immortalized primary human keratinocytes with the same low efficiency, suggesting that the difference in immortalization activities was not due to the different E6 or E7 genes themselves but rather to a difference in the transcriptional regulatory regions upstream of these genes. The analysis of a series of chimeric HPV-16 and HPV-18 LCR/E6/E7 constructs confirmed this observation and further mapped the viral element responsible for the major difference in immortalization efficiency to the transcriptional regulatory region upstream of the E6 and E7 genes.
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.
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.
The E2 proteins from oncogenic (high-risk) human papillomaviruses (HPVs) can induce apoptotic cell death in both HPV-transformed and non-HPV-transformed cells. Here we show that the E2 proteins from HPV type 6 (HPV6) and HPV11, two nononcogenic (low-risk) HPV types, fail to induce apoptosis. Unlike the high-risk HPV16 E2 protein, these low-risk E2 proteins fail to bind p53 and fail to induce p53-dependent transcription activation. Interestingly, neither the ability of p53 to activate transcription nor the ability of p53 to bind DNA, are required for HPV16 E2-induced apoptosis in non-HPV-transformed cells. However, mutations that reduce the binding of the HPV16 E2 protein to p53 inhibit E2-induced apoptosis in non-HPV-transformed cells. In contrast, the interaction between HPV16 E2 and p53 is not required for this E2 protein to induce apoptosis in HPV-transformed cells. Thus, our data suggest that this high-risk HPV E2 protein induces apoptosis via two pathways. One pathway involves the binding of E2 to p53 and can operate in both HPV-transformed and non-HPV-transformed cells. The second pathway requires the binding of E2 to the viral genome and can only operate in HPV-transformed cells.
YY1 is a multifunctional transcription factor that has been shown to regulate the expression of a number of cellular and viral genes, including the human papillomavirus (HPV) oncogenes E6 and E7. In this study, we have analyzed the YY1-mediated repression of the HPV type 16 (HPV-16) E6-E7 promoter. A systematic analysis to identify YY1 sites present in the HPV-16 long control region showed that of 30 potential YY1 binding motifs, 24 bound purified recombinant YY1 protein, but only 10 of these were able to bind YY1 when nuclear extracts of HeLa cells were used. Of these, only a cluster of five sites, located in the vicinity of an AP-1 motif, were found to be responsible for repressing the HPV-16 P97 promoter. All five sites were required for repression, the mutation of any one site giving rise to a four- to sixfold increase in transcriptional activity. The target for YY1-mediated repression was identified as being a highly conserved AP-1 site, and we propose that AP-1 may represent a common target for YY1 repression. We also provide data demonstrating that YY1 can bind the transcriptional coactivator CREB-binding protein and propose a potentially novel mechanism by which YY1 represses AP-1 activity as a result of this YY1-CREB-binding protein interaction.
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.
The human papillomavirus 18 (HPV18) E6 and E7 proteins are considered to be primarily responsive for the transforming activity of the virus. In order to analyse the molecular mechanisms resulting in viral oncoprotein expression, it is necessary to identify the factors involved in the transcriptional regulation of the E6/E7 genes. Here we define by gel retardation experiments a sequence aberrant Sp1 binding site present in the promoter proximal part of the viral transcriptional control region (Upstream Regulatory Region, URR). Functional analyses employing transient reporter assays reveal that this Sp1 element is required for an efficient stimulation of the HPV18 E6/E7-promoter. Mutation of the Sp1 element in the natural context of the HPV18 URR leads to a strong decrease in the activity of the E6/E7-promoter in several cell lines. The magnitude of reduction varies between different cell types and is higher in cell lines of epithelial origin when compared with nonepithelial cells. Cotransfection assays using Sp1 expression vector systems further define the promoter proximal HPV18 Sp1 binding motif as a functional Sp1 element in vivo and show that its integrity is essential for the stimulation of the E6/E7-promoter by augmented levels of Sp1. These results indicate, that the cellular transcription factor Sp1 plays an important role for the stimulation of the E6/E7-promoter by the viral URR and represents a major determinant for the expression of HPV18 transforming genes E6 and E7.
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.
The genus β human papillomavirus (HPV) type 8 is associated with nonmelanoma skin cancer in patients with epidermodysplasia verruciformis, and evidence for its protumorigenic potential in the general population increases. To date, strategies to suppress genus β HPV infections are limited. Interferon regulatory factors IRF-3 and IRF-7 play key roles in the activation of the innate immune response to viral infections. In this study, we show for the first time that both IRF-3 and IRF-7 regulate transcription of a papillomavirus, but with opposing effects. IRF-7, expressed in the suprabasal layers of human epidermis, increased HPV8 late promoter activity via direct binding to viral DNA. UV-B light-induced activation of the HPV8 promoter involved IRF-7 as a downstream effector. In contrast, IRF-3, expressed in all layers of human epidermis, induced strong HPV8 suppression in primary keratinocytes. IRF-3-mediated suppression prevailed over IRF-7-induced HPV8 transcription. Unlike the E6 oncoprotein of the mucosal high-risk HPV16, the HPV8 E6 protein did not bind to IRF-3 and only weakly antagonized its activity. Strong antiviral activity was also observed, when keratinocytes were treated with potent IRF-3 activators, poly(I:C) or RNA bearing 5′ phosphates. In conclusion, we show that IRF-3 activation induces a state of cell-autonomous immunity against HPV in primary human keratinocytes. Our study suggests that local application of IRF-3-activating compounds might constitute an attractive novel therapeutic strategy against HPV8-associated diseases, particularly in epidermodysplasia verruciformis patients.
YY1 is a zinc finger transcription factor which acts as either a repressor or an activator dependent on the promoter context. YY1 is a potent activator of the genuine human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV-18) upstream regulatory region (URR) in HeLa cells, which are known for high-level expression of the HPV-18 early genes. The activating activity of YY1 is dependent on the presence of a newly identified switch region located upstream of the YY1 binding site. Deletion of this region causes YY1 to act as a repressor of HPV-18 promoter activity. In vivo footprinting of the HPV-18 URR and an in vitro electrophoretic mobility shift assay identified proteins binding to the switch region. Site-directed mutagenesis of the switch region and YY1 binding sites suggests that these two regions work in concert to yield high-level HPV-18 URR activity in HeLa cells but not in HepG2 cells, where HPV-18 is almost inactive. These data identified a novel mode of cell type-specific regulation of HPV-18 promoter activity by positive or negative action of YY1, determined by the switch region binding factor(s).
Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) require terminal differentiation of the host cell to produce infectious virions. The process of viral maturation involves a variety of changes in the expression/activity of host proteins that lead to high-level replication of the viral genome and expression of the late viral genes. Although the late promoter regions of HPV type 16 (HPV-16) are still not fully characterized, differentiation-dependent regulation of viral genes is thought to involve changes in the binding of host cell transcription factors to the viral promoter and regulatory regions. Currently, very little is known about specific cellular transcription factors involved in this process. We used the Panomics TransSignal protein/DNA array to identify changes in the levels of cellular transcription factors during methylcellulose-induced differentiation of W12 (20863) cells containing HPV-16. We then identified the differentially expressed transcription factors that specifically bind to HPV-16 DNA, including the known promoter and regulatory regions. We have validated the results obtained from the Panomics array by Western blot analysis. Furthermore, by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we have shown that many of the transcription factors identified in the above screen bind to the HPV-16 promoter/regulatory sequences in vivo and that the level of this binding is increased during differentiation. This approach identified approximately 30 transcription factors that specifically bind to HPV-16 sequences and may be involved in regulating HPV-16 transcription during differentiation. Although some of these transcription factors have previously been suggested to be involved in HPV-16 transcription, a number of them represent novel viral DNA-host protein interactions.
The transcription of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) is mediated by the viral enhancer. Epithelial cell-specific activation is achieved by the cooperative interaction of apparently ubiquitous transcriptional factors. One of them, nuclear factor I (NFI), binds seven sites within the HPV-16 enhancer. Point mutations on enhancer fragments, which retain epithelial cell specificity, verify the functional contribution of NFI. In band shift experiments, the epithelial cell-derived NFI proteins CTF-1, CTF-2, and CTF-3 form a characteristic pattern of heterodimeric complexes which are observed in all epithelial cells tested. Divergence from this pattern in fibroblasts, liver cells, and lymphoid cells correlates with the lack of HPV-16 enhancer activation. The HPV-16 enhancer can be activated by CTF-1 in SL-2 cells, which lack NFI-like proteins. However, exogenous CTF-1 fails to overcome the inactivity of the viral enhancer in fibroblasts. Western immunoblot and supershift analysis shows that exogenously introduced CTF-1 proteins form different heterodimer complexes with the given subset of endogenous NFI proteins in epithelial or fibroblast cells. Polymerase chain reaction analysis and cDNA library screens identified the endogenous fibroblast type NFI as NFI-X, an NFI family member originally cloned from hamster liver cells. The strict correlation between the activation or lack of activation of the HPV-16 enhancer and cell-specific subsets of NFI proteins argues for the pivotal role of NFI binding sites in the epithelial cell-specific function of the viral enhancer.
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.
A systematic comparison of transcriptional activation by papillomavirus E2 proteins revealed that the E2 proteins from high-risk human papillomaviruses (human papillomavirus type 16 [HPV-16] and HPV-18) are much more active than are the E2 proteins from low-risk HPVs (HPV-6b and HPV-11). Despite the tropism of HPVs for particular epithelial cell types, this difference in transcriptional activation was observed in a number of different epithelial and nonepithelial cells. The enhanced activities of the E2 proteins from high-risk HPVs did not result from higher steady-state levels of protein in vivo, and in vitro DNA-binding assays revealed similar binding properties for these two classes of E2 proteins. These results demonstrate that the E2 proteins from high-risk HPVs have an intrinsically enhanced potential to activate transcription from promoters with E2-responsive elements. We found that there are also substantial differences between the activation properties of the bovine papillomavirus type 1 E2 protein and those of either of the two classes of HPV E2 proteins, especially with regard to requirements for particular configurations of E2 binding sites in the target promoter. Our results indicate that there are at least three distinct functional classes of E2 proteins and that these classes of E2 proteins may perform different roles during the respective viral life cycles.
The life cycles of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are intimately linked to the differentiation program of infected stratified epithelia, with both viral gene expression and replication being maintained at low levels in undifferentiated basal cells and increased upon host cell differentiation. We recently identified, in HPV-16, a negative regulatory element between the epithelial-cell-specific enhancer and the E6 promoter that is capable of silencing E6 promoter activity, and we termed this element a papillomavirus silencing motif (PSM) and the unknown cellular factor that bound to it PSM binding protein (PSM-BP). Here we show that the homologous genomic segments of six other distantly related genital HPV types contain a PSM that binds PSM-BP and is capable of repressing transcription. Conservation of the PSM suggests that it is indispensable for the HPV life cycle. Purification, electrophoretic mobility shift assay experiments, and the use of specific antibodies proved that the cellular factor PSM-BP is identical to a previously described transcriptional repressor, the CCAAT displacement protein (CDP), also referred to as the human Cut protein (Cut). CDP/Cut repression of HPV-16 may stem from the modification of specifically positioned nucleosomes, as suggested by transcriptional stimulation under the influence of the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A. CDP/Cut is an important developmental regulator in several different tissues. It was recently shown that CDP/Cut is expressed in basal epithelial cells but not in differentiated primary keratinocytes. This suggests the possibility that repression by PSM couples HPV transcription to the stratification of epithelia. In each of the studied HPV types, the two CDP/Cut binding sites of PSM overlap with the known or presumed binding sites of the replication initiator protein E1. Transfection of CDP/Cut expression vectors into cells that support HPV-16 or HPV-31 replication leads to the elimination of viral episomes. Similarly, two PSM-like motifs overlapping the E1 binding site of bovine papillomavirus type 1 bind CDP/Cut, and CDP/Cut overexpression reduces the copy number of episomally replicating BPV-1 genomes in mouse fibroblasts. CDP/Cut appears to be a master regulator of HPV transcription and replication during epithelial differentiation, and PSMs are important cis-responsive targets of this repressor.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA replication can be inhibited by the cellular tumour suppressor protein p53. However, the mechanism through which p53 inhibits viral replication and the role that this might play in the HPV life cycle are not known. The papillomavirus E2 protein is required for efficient HPV DNA replication and also regulates viral gene expression. E2 represses transcription of the HPV E6 and E7 oncogenes and can thereby modulate indirectly host cell proliferation and survival. In addition, the E2 protein from HPV 16 has been shown to bind p53 and to be capable of inducing apoptosis independently of E6 and E7.
Here we use a panel of E2 mutants to confirm that mutations which block the induction of apoptosis via this E6/E7-independent pathway, have little or no effect on the induction of apoptosis by the E6/E7-dependent pathway. Although these mutations in E2 do not affect the ability of the protein to mediate HPV DNA replication, they do abrogate the repressive effects of p53 on the transcriptional activity of E2 and prevent the inhibition of E2-dependent HPV DNA replication by p53.
These data suggest that p53 down-regulates HPV 16 DNA replication via the E2 protein.
We have reported previously that a 636-bp fragment spanning the 5' two-thirds of the human papillomavirus type 6 (HPV6)-W50 long control region (LCR) functions as a transcriptional silencer (A. Farr, S. Pattison, B.-S. Youn, and A. Roman, J. Gen. Virol. 76:827-835, 1995). We have utilized nested deletion analyses to implicate a 66-bp sequence which appears to be critical for this activity. A comparison of the transcriptional regulatory activities of the LCRs of HPV6-W50 and HPV6b (which has a 94-bp deletion, resulting in the elimination of the 66-bp sequence) indicates that sequences within the 94-bp region negatively regulate the activity of the intact HPV6 LCR. Two sequence-specific DNA-protein interactions were visualized via electrophoretic mobility shift assays. One of the binding events is mediated by the transcriptional repressor CCAAT displacement protein (CDP), a factor which is active in undifferentiated cells but inactive in terminally differentiated cells. This conclusion is based on the following three lines of evidence: (i) a consensus CDP binding site oligonucleotide serves as a competitor in band shift assays, (ii) the band shift complex is not seen when a CDP-negative nuclear extract is used, and (iii) anti-CDP antiserum specifically inhibits the binding. These studies identify a DNA-protein interaction occurring within the 5' end of the LCR which may be important in maintaining the tight link between keratinocyte differentiation and HPV gene expression.
The long control region (LCR) of the cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (CRPV) harbors a transcriptional promoter which can be transactivated, as reflected by cat gene expression, by cotransfection with plasmids which express the intact E2 open reading frame of CRPV, human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV18), and bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV1). The E2 protein of CRPV can also transactivate the LCRs of BPV1, HPV1, and HPV18 inserted in front of the cat gene in enhancer or promoter configuration. Competition experiments in vivo and binding studies with CRPV E2 protein synthesized in vitro suggest that the different E2 proteins transactivate transcription by a common mechanism involving binding to the same ACCG-CGGT target sequence. The C-terminal part of the protein is necessary for its DNA-binding function. Analysis of the transactivation data and of the LCR sequences of these four viruses suggests that the two cutaneous viruses (CRPV and BPV1) present a similar pattern of promoter regulation but that the activity of the promoters of genital human viruses is less dependent on E2 regulation and is at least partially regulated by cellular factors.
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)
The human papillomavirus (HPV) protein E2 possesses dual roles in the viral life cycle. By interacting directly with host transcription factors in basal keratinocytes, E2 promotes viral transcription. As keratinocyte differentiation progresses, E2 associates with the viral helicase, E1, to activate vegetative viral DNA replication. How E2's major role switches from transcription to replication during keratinocyte differentiation is not understood, but the presence of a TATA site near the viral origin of replication led us to hypothesize that TATA-binding protein (TBP) could affect HPV replication. Here we show that the C-terminal domain of TBP (TBPc) is a potent inhibitor of E2-stimulated HPV DNA replication in vitro (50% inhibitory concentration = 0.56 nM). Increasing the E1 concentration could not overcome TBPc inhibition in replication assays, indicating that TBPc is a noncompetitive inhibitor of E1 binding. While direct E2-TBPc association could be demonstrated, this interaction could not fully account for the mechanism of TBPc-mediated inhibition of viral replication. Because E2 supports sequence-specific binding of E1 to the viral ori, we proposed that TBPc antagonizes E1-ori association indirectly through inhibition of E2-DNA binding. Indeed, TBPc potently antagonized E2 binding to DNA in the absence (Ki = 0.5 ± 0.1 nM) and presence (Ki = 0.6 ± 0.3 nM) of E1. Since E2 and TBPc cannot be coadjacent on viral sequences, direct DNA-binding competition between TBPc and E2 was responsible for replication inhibition. Given the ability of TBPc to inhibit HPV DNA replication in vitro and data indicating that TBPc antagonized E2-ori association, we propose that transcription factors regulate HPV DNA replication as well as viral transcription.
The E6 protein of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16), along with E7, is responsible for the HPV-induced malignant transformation of the cervix. However, the mechanism of this transformation activity is not well understood. We investigated whether the entire E6 protein of HPV-16 could act as an activator of transcription. Experiments in which NIH 3T3 cells were cotransfected with an E6 expression vector together with the reporter chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene linked to various minimal promoters indicated that E6 could activate transcription from a series of viral TATA-containing promoters. Mutations or deletions that affected all upstream regulatory elements present in the thymidine kinase (TK) promoter, such as the GC and CAAT boxes, reduced the level of E6-induced transcription. However, compared with the basal level, these truncated promoters were still activated by E6. Although site-directed mutations of the TATA sequence present in the TK or human immunodeficiency virus long terminal repeat promoters reduced the level of basal transcription, they did not abolish the E6-mediated activation. Moreover, E6 could restore almost completely the full level of wild-type E6-induced transcription as long as the upstream regulatory elements (GC/CAAT in the TK promoter, NF-kappa B in the human immunodeficiency virus long terminal repeat) were intact. This dual interaction of HPV-16 E6 is reminiscent of the activity of a coactivator.
The role of cellular factors involved in the transcriptional regulation of the cancer-associated human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV18) is yet poorly understood. The presence of an Oct-1-binding site within the HPV18 upstream regulatory region led us to investigate the influence of Oct-1 on viral transcription. Cotransfection of Oct-1 expression plasmids together with luciferase reporter constructs containing HPV18 regulatory sequences indicated that Oct-1 can transcriptionally repress the HPV18 upstream regulatory region. In contrast, heterologous control regions were not affected by Oct-1. HPV18 cis elements that can be repressed by Oct-1 mapped to a 135-bp subregion of the viral constitutive enhancer. Analysis of an Oct-1 mutant defective in DNA binding suggested that HPV18 down-modulation does not require direct binding of Oct-1 to DNA. These results make Oct-1 a candidate factor involved in the intracellular surveillance of HPV18 transcription and support the notion of a host cell mechanism that can specifically repress HPV E6-E7 transforming gene expression.