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Cancer Lett. 2002 May 28;179(2):205-12.

Abrogation of IRF-1 response by high-risk HPV E7 protein in vivo.

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Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology/Institute of Bioscience, Sejong University, Seoul, South Korea


We have previously reported that human papillomavirus (HPV) E7 interacts with IRF-1, a key regulator of cellular immune response, and abrogates its transactivation function at the molecular level in vitro. To confirm our previous data, we investigated in vivo the E7-mediated down-regulation of IRF-1 using HPV E7-inducible cells and transgenic mice expressing HPV-18 E6/E7. When E7 was induced in the absence of tetracycline, the expression of target genes of IRF-1 (TAP-1, IFN-beta, MCP-1 that are important for cellular immunity) was clearly reduced as determined by RT-PCR. In addition, the IRF-1 activity was down-regulated in E7-expressing cells into which IFN-beta-CAT reporter plasmid was transfected. To further investigate the E7-mediated immune regulation in vivo, we constructed transgenic mice expressing E6 and E7 genes of HPV-18 under the control of HPV-18 promoter (URR). From several rounds of breeding, we obtained from a transgenic line that developed a cervical dysplasia and expressed E6/E7 as determined by histological examination and RT-PCR, respectively. Subsequent RT-PCR analysis indicated that TAP-1, IFN-beta, and MCP-1 genes were less expressed in a cervical tissue derived from transgenic mouse, when compared with a cervix derived from normal mouse. From these results, we conclude that the E7 transgene expression inactivates the transactivation function of IRF-1 in vivo, which might be important for the elucidation of the E7-mediated immune evading mechanism that is frequently found in cervical cancer.

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