The immortalizing and transforming ability of two common human papillomavirus 16 E6 variants with different prevalences in cervical cancer

C. Richard, C. Lanner, S. N. Naryzhny, L. Sherman, H. Lee, P. F. Lambert, I. Zehbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Persistent infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs), especially type 16 has been undeniably linked to cervical cancer. The Asian-American (AA) variant of HPV16 is more common in the Americas than the prototype in cervical cancer. The different prevalence is based on three amino acid changes within the E6 protein denoted Q14H/H78Y/L83V. To investigate the mechanism(s) behind this observation, both E6 proteins, in the presence of E7, were evaluated for their ability to extend the life span of and transform primary human foreskin keratinocytes (PHFKs). Long-term cell culture studies resulted in death at passage 9 of vector-transduced PHFKs (negative control), but survival of both E6 PHFKs to passage 65 (and beyond). Compared with E6/E7 PHFKs, AA/E7 PHFKs were significantly faster dividing, developed larger cells in monolayer cultures, showed double the epithelial thickness and expressed cytokeratin 10 when grown as organotypic raft cultures. Telomerase activation and p53 inactivation, two hallmarks of immortalization, were not significantly different between the two populations. Both were resistant to anoikis at later passages, but only AA/E7 PHFKs acquired the capacity for in vitro transformation. Proteomic analysis revealed markedly different protein patterns between E6/E7 and AA/E7, particularly with respect to key cellular metabolic enzymes. Our results provide new insights into the reasons underlying the greater prevalence of the AA variant in cervical cancer as evidenced by characteristics associated with higher oncogenic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3435-3445
Number of pages11
JournalOncogene
Volume29
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2010

Keywords

  • Cervical cancer
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Human primary foreskin keratinocytes
  • Immortalization
  • Transformation

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