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J Biol Chem. 2002 Aug 2;277(31):27748-56. Epub 2002 May 17.

Human papillomavirus E2 down-regulates the human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 305-701, Korea.


The transcriptional regulation of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene is a critical step in transformation and differentiation. Human papillomavirus E2 protein inhibits cell growth in HPV-infected cells and triggers apoptosis in HeLa cells. Because E2 induces cell growth suppression and senescence, we hypothesize that the protein may modulate cellular gene expression related to these processes. In this report, we demonstrate that E2 inhibits the hTERT promoter. The mapping of the E2-responsive region of hTERT reveals that Sp1 is important for E2-mediated repression of this promoter in 293T cells. Site-directed mutagenesis data on the hTERT promoter show that E2 does not abolish E-Box-mediated transcription and represses promoter activity via the Sp1 binding site. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicate that E2 is actively recruited to the hTERT promoter region. Our findings provide novel insights into the biological function of human papillomavirus E2.

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