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J Virol. 2012 Jul;86(14):7466-72. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00487-12. Epub 2012 May 2.

Activation of cap-dependent translation by mucosal human papillomavirus E6 proteins is dependent on the integrity of the LXXLL binding motif.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.


The human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 (HPV16) E6 protein can stimulate mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling and cap-dependent translation through activation of the PDK1 and mTORC2 kinases. Here we report that HPV18 E6 also enhances cap-dependent translation. The integrity of LXXLL and PDZ protein binding domains is important for activation of cap-dependent translation by high-risk mucosal HPV E6 proteins. Consistent with this model, low-risk mucosal HPV6b and HPV11 E6 proteins, which do not contain a PDZ protein binding motif, also activate cap-dependent translation and mTORC1, albeit at a lower efficiency than high-risk HPV E6 proteins. In contrast, cutaneous HPV5 and HPV8 E6 proteins, which lack LXXLL and PDZ motif protein binding, do not enhance cap-dependent translation. Mutagenic analyses of low-risk HPV E6 proteins revealed that association with the LXXLL motif containing ubiquitin ligase E6AP (UBE3A) correlates with activation of cap-dependent translation. Hence, activation of mTORC1 and cap-dependent translation may be important for the viral life cycle in specific epithelial tissue types and contribute to cellular transformation in cooperation with other biological activities of high-risk HPV E6-containing proteins.

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