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1.  Eight Nucleotide Substitutions Inhibit Splicing to HPV-16 3′-Splice Site SA3358 and Reduce the Efficiency by which HPV-16 Increases the Life Span of Primary Human Keratinocytes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e72776.
The most commonly used 3′-splice site on the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) genome named SA3358 is used to produce HPV-16 early mRNAs encoding E4, E5, E6 and E7, and late mRNAs encoding L1 and L2. We have previously shown that SA3358 is suboptimal and is totally dependent on a downstream splicing enhancer containingmultiple potential ASF/SF2 binding sites. Here weshow that only one of the predicted ASF/SF2 sites accounts for the majority of the enhancer activity. We demonstrate that single nucleotide substitutions in this predicted ASF/SF2 site impair enhancer function and that this correlates with less efficient binding to ASF/SF2 in vitro. We provide evidence that HPV-16 mRNAs that arespliced to SA3358 interact with ASF/SF2 in living cells. In addition,mutational inactivation of the ASF/SF2 site weakened the enhancer at SA3358 in episomal forms of the HPV-16 genome, indicating that the enhancer is active in the context of the full HPV-16 genome.This resulted in induction of HPV-16 late gene expression as a result of competition from late splice site SA5639. Furthermore, inactivation of the ASF/SF2 site of the SA3358 splicing enhancer reduced the ability of E6- and E7-encoding HPV-16 plasmids to increase the life span of primary keratinocytes in vitro, demonstrating arequirement for an intact splicing enhancer of SA3358 forefficient production of the E6 and E7 mRNAs. These results link the strength of the HPV-16 SA3358 splicing enhancer to expression of E6 and E7 and to the pathogenic properties of HPV-16.
PMCID: PMC3767658  PMID: 24039800
2.  Phylogenetic structure and evolution of regulatory genes and integrases of P2-like phages 
Bacteriophage  2011;1(4):207-218.
The phylogenetic relationships and structural similarities of the proteins encoded within the regulatory region (containing the integrase gene and the lytic–lysogenic transcriptional switch genes) of P2-like phages were analyzed, and compared with the phylogenetic relationship of P2-like phages inferred from four structural genes. P2-like phages are thought to be one of the most genetically homogenous phage groups but the regulatory region nevertheless varies extensively between different phage genomes.
The analyses showed that there are many types of regulatory regions, but two types can be clearly distinguished; regions similar either to the phage P2 or to the phage 186 regulatory regions. These regions were also found to be most frequent among the sequenced P2-like phage or prophage genomes, and common in phages using Escherichia coli as a host. Both the phylogenetic and the structural analyses showed that these two regions are related. The integrases as well as the cox/apl genes show a common monophyletic origin but the immunity repressor genes, the type P2 C gene and the type 186 cI gene, are likely of different origin. There was no indication of recombination between the P2–186 types of regulatory genes but the comparison of the phylogenies of the regulatory region with the phylogeny based on four structural genes revealed recombinational events between the regulatory region and the structural genes.
Less common regulatory regions were phylogenetically heterogeneous and typically contained a fusion of genes from distantly related or unknown phages and P2-like genes.
PMCID: PMC3448106  PMID: 23050214
gamma-proteobacteria; lytic-lysogenic transcriptional switch; P2-like bacteriophages; peduovirinae; phage integration; phylogenetic analysis
3.  Evolution of Immunity and Host Chromosome Integration Site of P2-Like Coliphages 
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;188(11):3923-3935.
The amount and distribution of variation in the genomic region containing the genes in the lytic-lysogenic genetic switch and the sequence that determines the integration site into the host chromosome were analyzed for 38 P2-like phages from Escherichia coli. The genetic switch consists of two convergent mutually exclusive promoters, Pe and Pc, and two repressors, C and Cox. The immunity repressor C blocks the early Pe promoter, leading to the establishment of lysogeny. The Cox repressor blocks expression of Pc, allowing lytic growth. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the C and Cox proteins were distributed into seven distinct classes. The phylogenetic relationship differed between the two proteins, and we showed that homologous recombination plays a major role in creating alterations in the genetic switch, leading to new immunity classes. Analyses of the host integration site for these phages resulted in the discovery of a previously unknown site, and there were at least four regular integration sites. Interestingly, we found no case where phages of the same immunity class had different host attachment sites. The evolution of immunity and integration sites is complex, since it involves interactions both between the phages themselves and between phages and hosts, and often, both regulatory proteins and target DNA must change.
PMCID: PMC1482927  PMID: 16707684

Results 1-3 (3)