Roles for E1-independent replication and E6-mediated p53 degradation during low-risk and high-risk human papillomavirus genome maintenance.

A new interesting article has been published in PLoS Pathog. 2019 May 13;15(5):e1007755. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007755. eCollection 2019 May. and titled:

Roles for E1-independent replication and E6-mediated p53 degradation during low-risk and high-risk human papillomavirus genome maintenance.

Authors of this article are:

Murakami I, Egawa N, Griffin H, Yin W, Kranjec C, Nakahara T, Kiyono T, Doorbar J.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) have genotype-specific disease associations, with high-risk alpha types causing at least 5% of all human cancers. Despite these conspicuous differences, our data show that high- and low- risk HPV types use similar approaches for genome maintenance and persistence. During the maintenance phase, viral episomes and the host cell genome are replicated synchronously, and for both the high- and low-risk HPV types, the E1 viral helicase is non-essential. During virus genome amplification, replication switches from an E1-independent to an E1-dependent mode, which can uncouple viral DNA replication from that of the host cell. It appears that the viral E2 protein, but not E6 and E7, is required for the synchronous maintenance-replication of both the high and the low-risk HPV types. Interestingly, the ability of the high-risk E6 protein to mediate the proteosomal degradation of p53 and to inhibit keratinocyte differentiation, was also seen with low-risk HPV E6, but in this case was regulated by cell density and the level of viral gene expression. This allows low-risk E6 to support genome amplification, while limiting the extent of E6-mediated cell proliferation during synchronous genome maintenance. Both high and low-risk E7s could facilitate cell cycle re-entry in differentiating cells and support E1-dependent replication. Despite the well-established differences in the viral pathogenesis and cancer risk, it appears that low- and high-risk HPV types use fundamentally similar molecular strategies to maintain their genomes, albeit with important differences in their regulatory control. Our results provide new insights into the regulation of high and low-risk HPV genome replication and persistence in the epithelial basal and parabasal cells layers. Understanding the minimum requirement for viral genome persistence will facilitate the development of therapeutic strategies for clearance.

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