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Oncogene. 1999 Oct 14;18(42):5727-37.

The human papilloma virus (HPV)-18 E6 oncoprotein physically associates with Tyk2 and impairs Jak-STAT activation by interferon-alpha.

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Department of Oncology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


We have examined the effects of human papilloma virus (HPV) E6 proteins on interferon (IFN) signaling. Here we show that expression of the 'malignant' HPV-18 E6 in human HT1080 cells results in inhibition of Jak-STAT activation in response to IFN-alpha but not IFN-gamma. This inhibitory effect is not shared by the 'benign' HPV-11 E6. The DNA-binding and transactivation capacities of the transcription factor ISGF3 are diminished in cells expressing HPV-18 E6 after IFN-alpha treatment as a result of decreased tyrosine phosphorylation of Tyk2, STAT2 and STAT1. However, HPV-18 E6 does not affect the induction of tyrosine phosphorylation and DNA-binding of STAT1 by IFN-gamma. In addition, HPV E6 proteins physically interact with Tyk2. This interaction takes place preferably with HPV-18 E6 and to a lesser extent with HPV-11 E6. The E6/Tyk2 interaction requires the JH6-JH7 domains of Tyk2, which are important for Tyk2 binding to the cytoplasmic portion of IFN-alpha receptor 1 (IFNAR1). These findings demonstrate an inhibitory role of HPV-18 E6 in the IFN-alpha-induced Jak-STAT pathway, which may be explained, at least in part, by the ability of E6 to interact with and impair Tyk2 activation.

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