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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Feb 28;92(5):1654-8.

Integration of human papillomavirus type 16 DNA into the human genome leads to increased stability of E6 and E7 mRNAs: implications for cervical carcinogenesis.

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McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison 53706.


In many cervical cancers, human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) DNA genomes are found to be integrated into the host chromosome. In this study, we demonstrate that integration of HPV-16 DNA leads to increased steady-state levels of mRNAs encoding the viral oncogenes E6 and E7. This increase is shown to result, at least in part, from an increased stability of E6 and E7 mRNAs that arise specifically from those integrated viral genomes disrupted in the 3' untranslated region of the viral early region. Further, we demonstrate that the A+U-rich element within this viral early 3' untranslated region confers instability on a heterologous mRNA. We conclude that integration of HPV-16 DNA, as occurs in cervical cancers, can result in the increased expression of the viral E6 and E7 oncogenes through altered mRNA stability.

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