NFX1-123 and poly(A) binding proteins synergistically augment activation of telomerase in human papillomavirus type 16 E6-expressing cells.
ABSTRACT: Overcoming senescence signals in somatic cells is critical to cellular immortalization and carcinogenesis. High-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) can immortalize epithelial cells in culture through degradation of the retinoblastoma protein by HPV E7 and activation of hTERT transcription, the catalytic subunit of telomerase, by the heterodimer HPV E6/E6-associated protein (E6AP). Recent work in our laboratory identified a novel repressor of hTERT transcription, NFX1-91, which is targeted for ubiquitin-mediated degradation by HPV type 16 (HPV16) E6/E6AP. In contrast, NFX1-123, a splice variant NFX1, increased expression from an hTERT promoter that was activated by HPV16 E6/E6AP. Here, we show that HPV16 E6 bound both NFX1-91 and NFX1-123 through the common central domain of NFX1 in the absence of E6AP. NFX1-123 positively regulated hTERT expression, as its knockdown decreased hTERT mRNA levels and telomerase activity and its overexpression increased telomerase activity. We identified new protein partners of NFX1-123, including several cytoplasmic poly(A) binding proteins (PABPCs) that interacted with NFX1-123 through its N-terminal PAM2 motif, a protein domain characteristic of other PABPC protein partners. Furthermore, NFX1-123 and PABPCs together had a synergistic stimulatory effect on hTERT-regulated reporter assays. The data suggest that NFX1-123 is integral to hTERT regulation in HPV16 E6-expressing epithelial cells and that the interaction between NFX1-123 and PABPCs is critical to hTERT activity.
Project description:The high-risk human papillomavirus (HR HPV) E6 oncoprotein binds host cell proteins to dysregulate multiple regulatory pathways, including apoptosis and senescence. HR HPV16 E6 (16E6) interacts with the cellular protein NFX1-123, and together they posttranscriptionally increase hTERT expression, the catalytic subunit of telomerase. NFX1-123 interacts with hTERT mRNA and stabilizes it, leading to greater telomerase activity and the avoidance of cellular senescence. Little is known regarding what other transcripts are dependent on or augmented by the association of NFX1-123 with 16E6. Microarray analysis revealed enhanced expression of Notch1 mRNA in 16E6-expressing keratinocytes when NFX1-123 was overexpressed. A moderate increase in Notch1 mRNA was seen with overexpression of NFX1-123 alone, but with 16E6 coexpression the increase in Notch1 was enhanced. The PAM2 motif and R3H protein domains in NFX1-123, which were important for increased hTERT expression, were also important in the augmentation of Notch1 expression by 16E6. These findings identify a second gene coregulated by 16E6 and NFX1-123 and the protein motifs in NFX1-123 that are important for this effect.
Project description:High-risk human papillomavirus (HR HPV) requires differentiating epithelial cells to continue to divide in order to replicate the viral DNA. To achieve this, HPV perturbs several regulatory pathways, including cellular apoptosis and senescence signals. HPV E6 has been identified as a regulator of the NF?B signaling pathway, a pathway important in many cellular processes, as well as regulation of virus-host cell interactions. We report here that NFX1-91, an endogenously expressed transcriptional regulator of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) that is targeted by HPV type 16 (HPV16) E6/E6-associated protein (E6AP) for degradation, is also critical for regulation of the NF?B pathway by HPV16 E6. Microarray analysis revealed induction of NF?B-responsive genes and reduction of NF?B inhibitors with knockdown of NFX1-91. Knockdown of NFX1-91 induced downregulation of p105, an NF?B inhibitor in both primary human foreskin keratinocytes (HFKs) and HCT116 cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays further confirmed that NFX1-91 bound to the p105 promoter and upregulated its expression. Similarly, in HPV16 E6-positive cells, reduction of p105 expression was observed, paralleling knockdown of NFX1-91 expression. Overall, our data suggest a mechanism for HPV16 E6 activation of the NF?B pathway through NFX1-91. Also, it provides evidence that NFX1-91 can function as a dual regulator, not only a transcriptional repressor, but also a transcriptional activator, when bound to DNA.
Project description:The critical immortalizing activity of the human papillomavirus (HPV) type-16 E6 oncoprotein is to induce expression of hTERT, the catalytic and rate-limiting subunit of telomerase. Additionally, E6 binds to a cellular protein called E6-associated protein (E6-AP) to form an E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets p53 for proteasome-dependent degradation. Although telomerase induction and p53 degradation are separable and distinct functions of E6, binding of E6 to E6-AP strongly correlated with the induction of hTERT. Here, we demonstrate using shRNAs to reduce E6-AP expression that E6-AP is required for E6-mediated telomerase induction. A yeast two-hybrid screen to find new targets of the E6/E6-AP E3 ubiquitin ligase complex identified NFX1. Two isoforms of NFX1 were found: NFX1-123, which coactivated with c-Myc at the hTERT promoter, and NFX1-91, which repressed the hTERT promoter. NFX1-91 was highly ubiquitinated and destabilized in epithelial cells expressing E6. Furthermore, knockdown of NFX1-91 by shRNA resulted in derepression of the endogenous hTERT promoter and elevated levels of telomerase activity. We propose that the induction of telomerase by the HPV-16 E6/E6-AP complex involves targeting of NFX1-91, a newly identified repressor of telomerase, for ubiquitination and degradation.
Project description:GSM1056261-GSM1056272: NFX1-123 has been shown to associate with a number of RNA processing proteins, such as cytoplasmic poly(A) binding proteins (PABPC), to affect mRNA stability and translational efficiency of target genes. The high-risk human papillomavirus type 16E6 (HPV 16E6) induces telomerase activity by activation of hTERT, the catalytic subunit of telomerase. NFX1-123 can bind to hTERT mRNA and increase its stability in HPV 16E6 expressing keratinocytes (16E6 NHKs). Little is known regarding what other transcripts, and downstream signaling pathways, may be dependent on NFX1-123. In order to determine additional cellular transcripts affected by HPV 16E6 and NFX1-123, we assessed global gene expression changes in cells in which NFX1-123 was overexpressed or knocked down by short hairpin RNAs (shRNA) when compared to an isogenic scramble control, in three independently derived 16E6 NHKs GSM1212499-GSM1212510: NFX1-123 has been shown to associate with a number of RNA processing proteins, such as cytoplasmic poly(A) binding proteins (PABPC), to affect mRNA stability and translational efficiency of target genes. The high-risk human papillomavirus type 16E6 (HPV 16E6) induces telomerase activity by activation of hTERT, the catalytic subunit of telomerase. NFX1-123 can bind to hTERT mRNA and increase its stability in HPV 16E6 expressing keratinocytes (16E6 NHKs). Little is known regarding what other transcripts, and downstream signaling pathways, may be dependent on NFX1-123. In order to determine additional cellular transcripts affected solely by NFX1-123, we assessed global gene expression changes in cells in which NFX1-123 was overexpressed or knocked down by short hairpin RNAs (shRNA) when compared to an isogenic scramble control, in three independently derived NHKs. GSM1056261-GSM1056272: Three independent 16E6 expressing NHK cell lines were expanded and transduced with: short hairpin RNA (sh1) that knocked down NFX1-123 by 20%, short hairpin RNA (sh3) that knocked down NFX1-123 by 80%; a non-targeting isogenic shRNA scramble control; or a NFX1-123 overexpression construct with a FLAG-tag (FNFX1-123WT) that increased its RNA expression on average 3.5-fold. In total, twelve samples were used for the microarray, derived from the three initial NHK cell lines. GSM1212499-GSM1212510: Three independent NHK cell lines were expanded and transduced with: short hairpin RNA (sh1) that knocked down NFX1-123 by 40%, short hairpin RNA (sh3) that knocked down NFX1-123 by 83%; a non-targeting isogenic shRNA scramble control; or a NFX1-123 overexpression construct with a FLAG-tag (FNFX1-123WT) that increased its RNA expression on average 14.0-fold. In total, twelve samples were used for the microarray, derived from the three initial NHK cell lines.
Project description:High-risk human papillomavirus (HR HPV) oncoproteins bind host cell proteins to dysregulate and uncouple apoptosis, senescence, differentiation, and growth. These pathways are important for both the viral life cycle and cancer development. HR HPV16 E6 (16E6) interacts with the cellular protein NFX1-123, and they collaboratively increase the growth and differentiation master regulator, Notch1. In 16E6 expressing keratinocytes (16E6 HFKs), the Notch canonical pathway genes Hes1 and Hes5 were increased with overexpression of NFX1-123, and their expression was directly linked to the activation or blockade of the Notch1 receptor. Keratinocyte differentiation genes Keratin 1 and Keratin 10 were also increased, but in contrast their upregulation was only indirectly associated with Notch1 receptor stimulation and was fully unlinked to growth arrest, increased p21(Waf1/CIP1), or decreased proliferative factor Ki67. This leads to a model of 16E6, NFX1-123, and Notch1 differently regulating canonical and differentiation pathways and entirely uncoupling cellular arrest from increased differentiation.
Project description:Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection, affecting an estimated 11% of the world's population. The high-risk HPV types (HR HPV) account for approximately 5% of the global burden of cancer and thus cause high morbidity and mortality. Although it is known that persistent infection with HR HPV is the greatest risk factor for developing HPV-associated cancer, and that the HPV early proteins E6 and E7 dysregulate immune detection by its host cells, the mechanisms of immune evasion by HR HPV are not well understood. Previous work in the laboratory identified the endogenous cytoplasmic host protein NFX1-123 as a binding partner of the HR HPV type 16 oncoprotein E6 (16E6). Together NFX1-123 and 16E6 affect cellular growth, differentiation, and immortalization genes and pathways. In a whole genome microarray, human foreskin keratinocytes (HFKs) stably expressing 16E6 and overexpressing NFX1-123 showed a diverse set of innate immune genes downregulated two-fold or more when compared to 16E6 cells with endogenous NFX1-123. We demonstrated that 16E6 and NFX1-123 decreased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) in 16E6 HFKs at the mRNA and protein level. Knock down of NFX1-123 in 16E6 HFKs resulted in a derepression of innate immune genes, pointing to the requirement of NFX1-123 for immune regulation in the context of 16E6. Studies using immunofluorescent microscopy revealed that 16E6 and NFX1-123 disturbed the normal localization of signaling proteins involved in initiating the immune response. This study identifies NFX1-123 as a critical host protein partner through which 16E6 is able to subvert the immune response and in turn permit a long-lived HR HPV infection.
Project description:Purpose:High-risk human papillomaviruses (HR HPV) cause cervical cancer, and in these cancers, HPV type 16 is the most common HR type. The HR viral oncogenes E6 and E7 partner with cellular proteins to drive cancer and modulate immune pathways; previously, we demonstrated in keratinocytes that HPV 16 E6 and high expression of the endogenous host protein partner NFX1-123 led to the increased expression of multiple genes, including Notch1, secretory leukocyte peptidase inhibitor (SLPI), and retinoic acid early transcript 1G (RAET1G). The present study was conducted to determine if NFX1-123 was highly expressed in cervical cancer and if genes increased by NFX1-123 and 16E6 in keratinocytes were also increased in cervical cancers. Materials and Methods:The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database and The Human Protein Atlas database were used to compare relative mRNA and protein gene expression, respectively, in the normal cervix and cervical cancers. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) normal cervix and HPV 16 positive cervical cancer samples were analyzed for relative protein expression by immunohistochemical staining. Protein expression of a subset of regulated genes was quantified by Western blot of HPV positive and negative cell lines. Results:Immunohistochemical staining of HPV 16 positive cervical dysplasias and cancers revealed high NFX1-123, Ki67, and Notch1 expression. NFX1 and NFX1L1 mRNA levels were increased in cervical cancers compared to normal cervix in the TCGA database. Fourteen genes previously identified as upregulated in keratinocytes with 16E6 and overexpressed NFX1-123 also had high mRNA expression and selected genes had high protein expression in cervical cancers and cell lines. Conclusion:In cervical cancer, NFX1-123 is highly expressed, and 16E6 and NFX1-123 together alter the expression of a wide set of genes. The involvement of these genes in cell proliferation, differentiation, invasion, and metastasis provides further insight into potential ways that HR HPVs promote cancer initiation and maintenance.
Project description:The HPV life cycle is differentiation-dependent, with cellular differentiation driving initiation of the late, productive stage of the viral life cycle. Here, we identify a role for the protein NFX1-123 in regulating keratinocyte differentiation and events of the late HPV life cycle. NFX1-123 itself increased with differentiation of epithelial cells. Greater NFX1-123 augmented differentiation marker expression and JNK phosphorylation in differentiating 16E6-expressing human foreskin keratinocytes (16E6 HFKs). This was associated with altered expression of MKK4 and MKK7, upstream kinase regulators of JNK phosphorylation. Modulating levels of NFX1-123 in HPV16-positive W12E cells recapitulated the effects on differentiation markers, JNK phosphorylation, and MKK4/7 seen in 16E6 HFKs. Crucially, levels of NFX1-123 also correlated with expression of L1, the capsid protein of HPV. Altogether, these studies define a role for NFX1-123 in mediating epithelial differentiation through the JNK signaling pathway, potentially linking expression of cellular genes and HPV genes during differentiation.
Project description:Telomerase activation is critical for the immortalization of primary human keratinocytes by the high-risk HPV E6 and E7 oncoproteins, and this activation is mediated in part by E6-induction of the hTERT promoter. E6 induces the hTERT promoter via interactions with the cellular ubiquitin ligase, E6AP, and with the c-Myc and NFX-1 proteins, which are resident on the promoter. In the current study we demonstrate that E6 protein interacts directly with the hTERT protein. Correlating with its ability to bind hTERT, E6 also associates with telomeric DNA and with endogenous active telomerase complexes. Most importantly, E6 increases the telomerase activity of human foreskin fibroblasts transduced with the hTERT gene, and this activity is independent of hTERT mRNA expression. Unlike its ability to degrade p53, E6 does not degrade hTERT protein in vitro or in vivo. Our studies of E6/hTERT interactions also reveal that the C-terminal tagged hTERT protein, although incapable of immortalizing fibroblasts, does immortalize keratinocytes in collaboration with the viral E7 protein. Thus, E6 protein mediates telomerase activation by a posttranscriptional mechanism and these findings provide a model for exploring the direct modulation of cell telomerase/telomere function by an oncogenic virus and suggest its potential role in both neoplasia and virus replication.
Project description:Oncogenic types of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) cause cervical cancer and other malignancies in humans. The HPV E6 oncoprotein is considered to be an attractive therapeutic target since its inhibition can lead to the apoptotic cell death of HPV-positive cancer cells. The HPV type 16 (HPV16) E6-binding peptide pep11, and variants thereof, induce cell death specifically in HPV16-positive cancer cells. Although they do not encompass the LxxLL binding motif found in cellular HPV16 E6 interaction partners, such as E6AP, the pep11 variants strongly bind to HPV16 E6 by contacting the recently identified E6AP binding pocket. Thus, these peptides can serve as prototype E6-inhibitory molecules which target the E6AP pocket. We here analyzed their intracellular interaction with HPV16 E6. By comprehensive intracellular binding studies and GST pull-down assays, we show that E6-binding competent pep11 variants induce the formation of a trimeric complex, consisting of pep11, HPV16 E6 and p53. These findings indicate that peptides, which do not contain the LxxLL motif, can reshape E6 to enable its interaction with p53. The formation of the trimeric HPV16 E6 / peptide / p53 complex was associated with an increase of endogenous HPV16 E6 protein amounts. Yet, total cellular p53 amounts were also increased, indicating that the E6 / E6AP-mediated degradation of p53 is blocked. These findings suggest that inhibition of oncogenic activities by targeting the E6AP pocket on HPV16 E6 could be a strategy for therapeutic intervention.