The E6 and E7 genes of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) associated with anogenital cancers are largely responsible for the oncogenic activity of these viruses, and regulation of these genes has been intensively studied. Transcription of the E6 and E7 genes is controlled by the viral upstream regulatory region (URR). We have used in vivo footprinting to examine the occupancy by regulatory factors of the HPV type 18 (HPV18) URR enhancer and promoter in the cervical carcinoma cell lines HeLa and C4-II. While corroborating occupancy in vivo of all of the elements previously implicated in the transcriptional control of the HPV18 E6 and E7 genes by in vitro DNase I footprinting, gel retardation assays, and transfection studies, we also detect occupancy in vivo of several enhancer and promoter sequences which have not been previously identified as HPV18 URR regulatory elements. Our data suggest that the HPV18 enhancer and promoter are more densely occupied by DNA-binding proteins than previously thought and raise the possibility that additional, possibly novel factors contribute to transcription of the HPV18 early genes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science