Human papillomavirus (HPV) E6 and E7 oncogenes are expressed in the great majority of human cervical carcinomas, whereas the viral E2 regulatory gene is usually disrupted in these cancers. To investigate the roles of the papillomavirus E2 genes in the development and maintenance of cervical carcinoma, the bovine papillomavirus (BPV) E2 gene was acutely introduced into cervical carcinoma cell lines by infection with high-titer stocks of simian virus 40-based recombinant viruses. Expression of the BPV E2 protein in HeLa, C-41, and MS751 cells results in specific inhibition of the expression of the resident HPV type 18 (HPV18) E6 and E7 genes and in inhibition of cell growth. HeLa cells, in which HPV gene expression is nearly completely abolished, undergo a dramatic and rapid inhibition of proliferation, which appears to be largely a consequence of a block in progression from the G1 to the S phase of the cell cycle. Loss of HPV18 gene expression in HeLa cells is also accompanied by a marked increase in the level of the cellular p53 tumor suppressor protein, apparently as a consequence of abrogation of HPV18 E6-mediated destabilization of p53. The proliferation of HT-3 cells, a human cervical carcinoma cell line devoid of detectable HPV DNA, is also inhibited by E2 expression, whereas two other epithelial cell lines that do not contain HPV DNA are not inhibited. Thus, a number of cervical carcinoma cell lines are remarkably sensitive to growth inhibition by the E2 protein. Although BPV E2-mediated inhibition of HPV18 E6 and E7 expression may contribute to growth inhibition in some of the cervical carcinoma cell lines, the BPV E2 protein also appears to exert a growth- inhibitory effect that is independent of its effects on HPV gene expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science