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Mol Cancer Res. 2013 Jan;11(1):19-30. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-12-0510. Epub 2013 Jan 2.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) E7-mediated attenuation of retinoblastoma (Rb) induces hPygopus2 expression via Elf-1 in cervical cancer.

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  • 1Division of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 300 Prince Philip Drive, St. John's, NL, Canada, A1B 3V6.


The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the etiologic agent of cervical cancer. In this study, we provide evidence for the human Pygopus (hPygo)2 gene as a cellular biomarker for HPV-related disease. In a tumor microarray of cervical cancer progression, hPygo2 levels were greater in high-grade lesions and squamous cell carcinomas than in normal epithelia. Similarly, hPygo2 mRNA and protein levels were greater in HPV-positive cervical cancer cells relative to uninfected primary cells. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated depletion of HPV-E7 increased whereas E74-like factor (Elf)-1 RNAi decreased association of Retinoblastoma (Rb) tumor suppressor with the hPygo2 promoter in cervical cancer cell lines. Transfection of dominant-active Rb inhibited Elf-1-dependent activation of hPygo2, whereas Elf-1 itself increased hPygo2 expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that Rb repressed hPygo2 by inhibiting Elf-1 at the Ets-binding site in the hPygo2 promoter. These results suggested that abrogation of Rb by E7 resulted in derepression of Elf-1, which in turn stimulated expression of hPygo2. Thus, initiation of hPygo2 expression by Elf-1 was required for proliferation of cervical cancer cells and its expression therefore may act as a surrogate marker for dysplasia.

©2012 AACR.

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