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Oncogene. 1994 Feb;9(2):629-33.

DNA damage induced p53 mediated transcription is inhibited by human papillomavirus type 18 E6.

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Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada.


Cervical cancer is similar to other human cancers in that it develops through a multistep process. However, infection with oncogenic human papillomaviruses (HPVs) is believed to be essential for the initiation of this disease. Although HPV may play a central role in the early stages of neoplasia, the accumulation of mutations in an assortment of genes precedes the development of malignant cervical carcinoma. The mechanisms by which abnormalities accumulate are various, but it is possible that viral proteins are involved. In particular, the viral E6 oncoprotein has been shown to interact with the cellular tumour suppressor protein p53, which is involved in DNA damage repair pathways. Hence, E6 may contribute to the genomic instability through this interaction with p53. We have tested this hypothesis by monitoring the effects of E6 upon DNA damage induced p53 transcriptional activity. This study shows that HPV-18 E6 inhibits p53 transcriptional activity following genotoxic stress with UV radiation. No effect was observed when a mutant E6 unable to direct the degradation of p53 was included in this assay. These results suggest that continued E6 expression may contribute to the accumulation of DNA damage associated with the progression of cervical cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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