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J Gen Virol. 2012 May;93(Pt 5):1081-92. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.038265-0. Epub 2012 Jan 25.

Transactivation activity of human papillomavirus type 16 E6*I on aldo-keto reductase genes enhances chemoresistance in cervical cancer cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.


The oncogenic E6 proteins produced by high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are invariably expressed in cervical carcinomas and are multifunctional proteins capable of affecting host-cell proliferation by binding and deregulating key host molecules such as p53. High-risk HPVs, including HPV16, have the unique ability to splice the E6 viral transcript, resulting in the production of a truncated E6 protein known as E6*I whose precise biological function is unclear. This study explored the changes in gene expression of the cervical cancer C33A cell line stably expressing HPV16 E6*I (16E6*I) and observed the upregulation of ten genes. Two of these genes were aldo-keto reductases (AKR1Cs), AKR1C1 and AKR1C3, which have been implicated in drug resistance. The results demonstrated that expression of 16E6*I, but not full-length E6, specifically increased AKR1C1 transcript levels although it did not alter AKR1C2 transcript levels. HPV16 E7 alone also had the ability to cause a moderate increase in AKR1C3 at both mRNA and protein levels. Site-directed mutagenesis of 16E6*I revealed that transactivation activity was abolished in R8A, R10A and T17A 16E6*I mutants without altering their intracellular localization patterns. Loss of transactivation activity of the 16E6*I mutants resulted in a significant loss of AKR1C expression and a decrease in drug resistance. Analysis of the AKR1C1 promoter revealed that, unlike the E6 protein, 16E6*I does not mediate transactivation activity solely through Sp1-binding sites. Taken together, it was concluded that 16E6*I has a novel function in upregulating expression of AKR1C and, in concert with E7, has implications for drug treatment in HPV-mediated cervical cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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