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Exp Cell Res. 2013 Oct 15;319(17):2588-603. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2013.07.028. Epub 2013 Aug 12.

Papillomavirus E6 oncoprotein up-regulates occludin and ZO-2 expression in ovariectomized mice epidermis.

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Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav), Mexico City, Mexico.


We have studied the expression of the tight junction proteins (TJ) occludin, claudin-1 and ZO-2 in the epidermis of female mice. We observed a peak of expression of these proteins at postnatal day 7 and a decrease in 6 week-old mice to values similar to those found in newborn animals. We explored if the expression of the E6 oncoprotein from high-risk human papilloma virus type 16 (HPV16) in the skin of transgenic female mice (K14E6), altered TJ protein expression in a manner sensitive to ovarian hormones. We observed that in ovariectomized mice E6 up-regulates the expression of occludin and ZO-2 in the epidermis and that this effect was canceled by 17β-estradiol. Progesterone instead induced occludin and ZO-2 over-expression. However, the decreased expression of occludin and ZO-2 induced by 17β-estradiol in the epidermis was not overturned by E6 or progesterone. In addition, we employed MDCK cells transfected with E6, and observed that ZO-2 delocalizes from TJs and accumulates in the cell nuclei due to a decrease in the turnover rate of the protein. These results reinforce the view of 17β-estradiol and E6 as risk factors for the development of cancer through effects on expression and mislocalization of TJ proteins.


E6; Epidermis; Estrogen; HPV; MDCK; Progesterone; Tight junction

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