The HPV16 E2 transcriptional regulator mode of action depends on the physical state of the viral genome
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a major risk factor for the development of cervical cancer. The HPV-induced immortalization of epithelial cell usually requires integration of the viral DNA into the host cell genome. The integration event causes disruption of the E2 gene and this is followed by overexpression of the E6 and E7 oncoproteins. The E2 protein is a transcription factor that regulates expression of the E6 and E7 oncoproteins by binding to four sites within the viral long control region. We used an in vitro cell culture model to explore the role of the E2 protein in the transcriptional control of the HPV16 long control region. Employing transient and stable transfection experiments we simulated the episomal and integrated states of the viral genome, respectively. We show that the E2 protein up-regulates E6/E7 transcription from episomal DNA but represses it in the case of integrated DNA. The activator function of the E2 protein seems to counteract the repressive chromatin structure formed over episomal DNA. Steroid hormones and retinol also modulate oncogene transcription differently depending on the physical structure of the viral DNA. Our data suggest regulatory mechanisms involving interactions between the E2 protein and nuclear hormone receptors.
- Department of Biotechnology and Food Microbiology, August Cieszkowski University of Agriculture, Poznań, Poland
- Department of Biotechnology and Food Microbiology, August Cieszkowski University of Agriculture, Poznań, Poland
- Department of Molecular Virology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
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