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The E7 oncoprotein is translated from spliced E6*I transcripts in high-risk human papillomavirus type 16- or type 18-positive cervical cancer cell lines via translation reinitiation.

Autor(es): Tang, Shuang; Tao, Mingfang; McCoy, J Philip; Zheng, Zhi-Ming
Fonte: J Virol;80(9): 4249-63, 2006 May.
Artigo [ PMID: 16611884 ] Idioma(s): Inglês
Publicação: Artigo de Revista; Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) encode two viral oncoproteins, E6 and E7, from a single bicistronic pre-mRNA containing three exons and two introns. Retention of intron 1 in the E6 coding region is essential for production of the full-length E6 oncoprotein. However, splicing of intron 1 is extremely efficient in cervical cancer cells, leading to the production of a spliced transcript, E6*I, of E6. Here, we investigated whether this splicing of intron 1 might benefit E7 production. Using RNA interference as a tool, we targeted the intron 1 region using small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in HPV-positive cell lines. At an effective low dose, the siRNAs specifically suppressed E6 expression but not E7 expression, as demonstrated by the stabilization of p53. However, at high doses the HPV18 intron 1-specific siRNA substantially and specifically reduced the level of the 18E6*I mRNA lacking the intron region in HeLa cells, implying its nuclear silencing on the pre-mRNA before RNA splicing. Two other siRNAs targeting the exon 2 regions of HPV16 and -18, which encode the E7 oncoprotein, reduced the E6*I mRNAs to a remarkable extent and preferentially suppressed expression of E7, leading to accumulation of hypophosphorylated p105Rb and cell cycle arrest, indicating that the majority of E7 proteins are the translational products of E6*I mRNAs. This was confirmed by transient transfection in 293 cells: E7 could be translated only from the E7 open reading frame (ORF) on E6*I mRNA in a distance-dependent matter of upstream E6*I ORF by translation reinitiation. The data thus provide direct evidence that the E6*I mRNAs of high-risk HPVs are responsible for E7 production.