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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2010 Jul-Sep;23(3):857-64.

Interkeratin peptide-protein interactions that promote HPV16 E7 gene expression.

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  • 1Department of Odontostomatology, Orthodontics and Surgical Disciplines, University of Naples (SUN), Naples, Italy.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 E7 gene product encodes the major transforming activity of the virus so as to induce neoplastic transformation. Continued expression of HPV16 E7 protein is required for both the establishment and maintenance of the transformed cellular phenotype. Therefore, understanding of the molecular and biochemical factors leading to the expression of E7 protein is important in relation to HPV-associated diseases. Previously, we identified a rare codon usage and a specific interaction between cytokeratin (CK) 7 and HPV16 E7 mRNA as factors modulating HPV16 E7 expression. In the present study we report that CK19, a biochemical marker of squamous oral and cervical cancer carcinogenesis, promotes the expression of HPV16 E7 oncoprotein by binding to the CK792-97SEQIKA peptide. These findings shed light on the dynamic functionality of the intermediate filament cytoskeleton, open new perspectives for investigating the role of CKs in controlling HPV16 E7 expression, and suggest new therapeutic avenues for HPV-associated carcinomas.

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