Journal Article

CANCER BIOLOGY: The human papillomavirus E6/E7 genes induce discordant changes in the expression of cell growth regulatory proteins

Xu Fang Pei

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 17, issue 7, pages 1395-1401
Published in print July 1996 | ISSN: 0143-3334
e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/17.7.1395
CANCER BIOLOGY: The human papillomavirus E6/E7 genes induce discordant changes in the expression of cell growth regulatory proteins

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The E6/E7 oncoproteins of human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 are responsible for the efficient immortalization of human genital keratinocytes and we have recently reported that such immortalized cells display alterations in the expression of cyclin A, cyclin B, and cdc-2. To determine whether these alterations were the consequence of E6/E7 protein expression or whether they resulted from the process of cellular immortalization, we multiply-infected primary genital keratinocytes with a retrovirus expressing the HPV-18 E6/E7 genes and examined the cells for acute, pre-immortalization changes in several critical cell growth regulatory proteins including cyclin A, cyclin B, cdc-2, p53 and c-myc. In addition, we simultaneously evaluated the expression of the E6/E7, bcl-2 and involucrin genes to determine whether there were accompanying alterations in the expression of viral genes or in cellular genes related to cell apoptosis and the state of keratinocyte differentiation. The cell cycle regulating proteins (cyclin A, cyclin B, cdc-2 and p53) change significantly within days after retroviral infection. Cyclin B and cdc-2 increase over 4-fold by three passages and remain relatively constant thereafter through passage 21, whereas the levels of p53 protein decrease 25% by passage three. Increases in the expression of cyclin A, cyclin B and cdc-2, and decreases in p53 are therefore among the earliest observable changes in cell regulatory proteins following E6/E7 gene expression and may be important contributors to the development of cell immortalization. The expressions of viral E6/E7 genes, c-myc, bcl-2 and involucrin exhibit progressive changes with increased passage numbers until passage 21, presumably reflecting the selective outgrowth of immortalized cells.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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